Tires are the only part of the vehicle that makes contact with the road and thus are critical to vehicle safety and performance. They often come across foreign objects that could cause serious or catastrophic damage. Good tires are costly and it is important that you protect your tires from hazards on the road to get the most from the tire life. It could be quite dangerous to avoid foreign objects while driving at freeway speed. It requires a good judgment of time and gauging the severity of the hazard to make sound decisions.
Let's talk about common debris that is found on the road.
The truck tire pieces that are left on the road after a tire blowout are often referred to as tire gators. These are common sites on the freeway because high speed makes it more likely for a blowout. Tire gators are big pieces of debris that can attach to your tire and fly off. This could hit other vehicles, pedestrians, and animals.
Broken windshields and headlight glass from accidents are common sites on the road. Driving over a broken glass can cause multiple punctures in the tire, causing a flat tire or a blowout. It is usually difficult to fix tire damage from glass. Do not brake suddenly or swerve to avoid broken glass as it could cause slipping and loss of control of the vehicle.
It is pretty common to see tree branches, twigs, or even whole trees on the road after strong winds and blizzards. While some of the small twigs and sticks are easily passed over, it is advised to not take risks by passing over large branches as they can cause serious issues. These branches are strong and can easily puncture the tire. Splintered wood can bounce off the road and hit other vehicles.
Steel plates are frequently used at road construction sites to cover up ditches or unfinished roads. Although these plates may seem to be harmless, they can cause damage to your tires and rims when passed over at high speed. These plates are considerably thick and the edges are fairly sharp.
Another very common hazard on the road is potholes. Hitting a pothole can damage your tire and bend the wheels. The safe way to approach a pothole is to keep a firm grip on the steering wheel, slow down and drive around the pothole. If this requires changing lanes to avoid potholes, always use a turn signal.
It is common to see mufflers, hubcaps, and bumpers on the road. These parts may have fallen from an old vehicle or from a vehicle that is not properly maintained or from an accident. Hitting something like this could cause severe damage to your tire and the vehicle. These parts can become airborne on hitting and cause injuries to you, your passenger, or other drivers.