Tire Remnants

by | Jul 18, 2012

The remnants of tires that come off of a tractor trailer are a common sight on American highways.  If you are lucky, the pieces are small enough to drive over or easily maneuver around.  Earlier this year, however, a Florida woman lost her life in exactly this familiar situation.  Rebeca Hernandez-Martinez was a passenger in a Ford Explorer that hit the remnant of a tractor trailer tire, veered out of control, spun off the highway, flipped over, and hit a tree.  One of the other passengers suffered only minor injuries, and the second was left in critical condition.  All three were wearing their seatbelts.  Just because these remnants are a common sight does not mean that highway travelers should learn to live with them.  Truck drivers are required to inspect their tires before every trip.  They are trained to know if the tire looks too worn and is in danger of separating from the wheel.  The Missouri Department of Transportation has decided to take matters into their own hands and debuted their “Gator Getters” last week.  Better known as Gators, these vehicles have an attachment similar to a snow plow that picks up tire debris and even objects as large as deer.  They can travel up to 55 mph and should have little effect on traffic speed.  Not only will these Gators make the road safer for motorists, but also for highway maintenance crews.  It is wonderful to see states taking steps to protect their citizens, but the trucking companies and their drivers should also be held accountable as well.

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