Pennsylvania motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians might be at greater risk of injury if they are in accident with a truck that has spiked wheel ornaments. These are decorations that are used as lug nut covers on tractor trailer wheels. They might be made from metal, aluminum or plastic. The ones that extend beyond the wheel rim may be particularly dangerous for pedestrians or other vehicles.
Some trucking companies ban the use of ornamental spikes to better convey an image focused on safe, courteous driving and a lack of aggression. Some motorists do find the spikes intimidating, and this point came up in a 2012 case in Louisiana in which the spikes were mentioned by the plaintiff after a crash between a tractor-trailer and a car.
One danger is that almost 50 percent of bicyclists and around 25 percent of pedestrians hit the side of a large truck when they are killed in an accident. In Hawaii, these types of spikes have been banned along with any other items, such as wheel covers, wheels or prongs, that extend four inches past the vehicle’s wheel rim extending away from the vehicle and that can damage property or injure a person.
These spiked wheel ornaments are one example of features on a tractor-trailer that can make an accident between a car, pedestrian, cyclist or motorcyclist and a large truck particularly serious. The size of tractor-trailers is also an issue in the severity of these accidents as is the potentially hazardous cargo such a truck might be carrying. When a person is injured in a truck accident because of a drowsy, drunk or careless driver, the truck driver and the company the driver was working for may be considered financially responsible. Victims might want to have the help of an experienced attorney when seeking compensation for their losses.