How many times have you been driving along the highway when a semi-truck pulled up alongside you and suddenly you were staring right at gigantic rotating spikes on the side of its tires? Although not every big rig has tire spikes like this, many of them do, so you probably have been in this uncomfortable situation. Should you be worried about those tire spikes being so close to you? Are truck tire spikes dangerous?
Tire Spikes: Not as Dangerous as They Look
No, truck tire spikes really aren’t all that dangerous. They might look intimidating and ready to puncture through the side of your car, but the truth is that they are probably incapable of doing anything to your car other than a nasty looking scratch. Truck tire spikes are commonly made from weak aluminum alloys or even plastic. In the event that a spiked truck tire sideswipes your car, the spikes would more than likely snap off or crumple before doing any significant harm to your vehicle or yourself.
Why Do Truck Have Tire Spikes on Their Wheels?
There are three main reasons why truckers add tire spikes onto their big rigs:
- Protection: Most tire spikes are lug nut covers. Pop the spike off and there you will find one of the tire’s many lug nuts. The spikes are designed to protect the lug nut from normal wear-and-tear and weathering damage, such as rust from heavy rain. The spike design helps flick moisture away while the wheel is spinning, too.
- Warning: Truck tire spikes are immediately noticeable, and that is intentional. When a motorist gets too close to a commercial truck, the spikes act as a clear warning sign. A driver’s natural instinct will be to not get any closer to the spikes, even though they are harmless. What’s important is to not overcorrect and swerve into another lane of traffic to avoid the spikes.
- Appearance: Lastly, truck tire spikes just look cool. Who doesn’t like making their vehicle stand out a bit or better match their personality? Truck drivers think the same way, and they often use big tire spikes to decorate their trucks.
Do Tire Spikes Affect Liability in a Truck Accident?
If a truck driver has tire spikes on their rig, does that mean that they will be less liable for a truck accident because they tried added the spikes as an additional “warning” or precaution to other drivers? Not necessarily. Tire spikes won’t do anything useful if the truck driver who installed them still drives negligently and causes a crash. If you get sideswiped by a commercial truck and the trucker is trying to say it’s your fault because you didn’t notice the tire spikes, then it will be time to talk to an attorney.
Rafi Law Group in Phoenix offers comprehensive and responsive legal assistance to truck accident clients throughout the region. If you were sideswiped or otherwise hit by a commercial truck, then we want to know about it. Call (623) 207-1555 or contact us online now to arrange a free consultation with our award-winning team.