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Tire spike ornaments on big rigs considered safety hazard

Florida truck drivers who choose to adorn their lug nut covers with spikes made of plastic or metal could be increasing the chance of accidents. Other motorists and pedestrians find them intimidating. One victim of a tractor-trailer wreck specifically mentioned the spikes on the front wheel hubs in a 2012 lawsuit. People increasingly view the spikes as a potential threat because they can distract other motorists.

Spikes extending beyond the profile of the truck especially increase the chance of making contact with pedestrians or bicyclists. Among fatal accidents with large trucks that involved one of those two categories of decedents, close to 50 percent of pedestrians and 25 percent of bicyclists came in contact with the sides of the trucks.

One state has even gone so far as to prohibit tire wheel spikes. Hawaii outlaws wheel ornamentation that extends four inches or more beyond the wheel rim. A portion of trucking companies voluntarily choose to ban the wheel ornaments that have become associated with aggression. These companies instead want to project a safety-oriented image.

When a person does experience a crash with a tractor-trailer, injuries could be severe because of the heavy weight of a commercial truck. Advice from an attorney could help a victim understand rights to compensation and push back against an insurance company's attempt to avoid responsibility. Many trucking accidents are caused by a truck driver who is distracted by a cell phone, drowsy due to too many hours spent behind the wheel, impaired by alcohol or drugs, or otherwise negligent. In some cases the trucking company itself can be held financially responsible.

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