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Tire Tread Causes Motorcycle Accident

A fatal accident involving a motorcycle driver was caused by a flying tire tread, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. The accident occurred near the intersection of Interstate 85 and Interstate 985 near Atlanta.

Road Debris Becomes Airborne

According to police, a tire tread became airborne after being struck by another vehicle. The tire tread then struck a motorcycle driver on his bike, causing a loss of control. The bike and rider went into a sideways skid, coming to rest in the center traffic lane in the path of an oncoming tractor-trailer.

Tire Treads Can Be a Hazard for Motorcyclists

Any road debris can be dangerous for motorcycles operating on the interstate at highways speeds. Large pieces of tire tread from commercial trucks, known as "gators" by the big-rig drivers, can be especially dangerous. HDForums, a forum for Harley-Davidson motorcycle riders, has several discussions of near misses by motorcycle riders with pieces of blown-out tractor-trailer tires. "[I] was coming along a semi when all of a sudden here comes two huge pieces of tread flopping toward me," posted one rider. "I managed to get between them. There was a van behind me and I heard it hit." Another biker posted, "I had just pulled into the passing lane when one of the tires on the trailer blew. The sound alone almost made me come off the bike … it was a serious explosion. I was in a cloud of black tire particles that were hot as hell and peppering my face. . . . The big pieces of tire you see lying in the road, well they were flying through the road like crazy. Only one big piece hit us. It hit my highway peg and snapped it off at the belt."

Motorcycles and Tractor-Trailers Do Not Mix

These stories point out one important safety rule for all motorcycle riders. Stay as far away from tractor-trailer tires as possible. Tire tread can break car windshields and cause accidents. If you get hit by a "gator" while riding unprotected on a motorcycle, you do not stand much of a chance. Stay as far away as possible.