Thursday, August 4, 2011

Re-Tread Tires Are A Menace!

While driving up Interstate 475 this week, my brand new Chrysler 200 was damaged when we were hit by a flying piece of a re-tread tire pitched at us by a speeding dump truck! It was scary when it hit the hood and then bounced up and hit the windshield.

All you have to do is look at the shoulder of the road to see how many times those things come flying off trucks. I can't imagine what it would do to you if you were on a motorcycle...heaven forbid!

I went to the GEICO service center today to find out just how much the damage was going to cost me. There was a scratch and a gouged out area on the hood, and there were several gouged areas on the windshield. Total cost for repairs will be $958. I have a $500 deductible on my policy. This loss is considered a no fault comprehensive claim. The truck was moving too fast to get a tag number or any identifying information, but it probably wouldn't have made any difference. I am sure he didn't even realize what had happened.

The point is...this shouldn't have happened at all. The GEICO representative told me I just wouldn't believe how many of their claims are related to separated re-tread tires. Not only does this cost each and every one of us increased insurance premiums, but can you imagine how many accidents are caused by this problem? I'll bet there isn't one of you reading this that has not dodged a huge piece of re-tread while driving down the road.

If, for instance, I had tried to swerve to avoid the impact of the tread, it is quite possible I could have hit another vehicle in the process, or lost control of my own vehicle. A less experienced driver may have done just that! This piece of rubber hit so hard, that if it had impacted the windshield directly, it probably would have broken. Thank God that was not the case, as my 95 year old roommate was sitting in the passenger seat right behind the point of impact.

Now, I am not big on more laws, and I don't want anyone to lose their job, but SOMETHiNG needs to be done to address this problem. I am not insensitive to the fact that re-treads are much less expensive than a new tire, or that there are people who are employed in the re-tread industry who couldn't afford to lose their jobs. However, with all the current technology, isn't there some way to stop the separation problem? Isn't there some way to make the roads safer for all of us?

I would like to find a way to make the roads just a little bit safer for all of us. Have you got any ideas, or suggestions? Have you experienced the same problem? Let me hear from you!

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