The Protection Provided by Mud Flaps
Many people think of truck mud flaps purely in terms of their aesthetic value. They can make a strong statement, leaving a lasting impression on pedestrians and other drivers as an expression of personality and/or to advertise a business. However, people may underestimate or misunderstand the protection provided by mud flaps. Custom mud flaps are a humble but powerful truck accessory. Mud flaps not only protect your vehicle from corrosive elements frequently kicked up by your tires, they also protect others on the road from flying debris. For this reason, many states require mud flaps on commercial vehicles. Custom semi truck mud flaps from Uni-Vue, Inc. serve both aesthetic and practical purposes.
Legal Requirements for Mud Flaps
Are you required to have mud flaps on your commercial vehicle? The answer depends largely on where you’ll be driving and the type of vehicle. Out of the 50 states, there are only seven that do not require mud flaps on commercial vehicles at all:
- West Virginia
- North Dakota and South Dakota
- North Carolina and South Carolina
- New Mexico
If your business travels keep you entirely within the confines of one of these states, then you do not require mud flaps for your vehicle. However, interstate travel is often required of commercial vehicles, so you may need mud flaps even if they are not mandated in your state of residence.
The type of vehicle also makes a difference as the mud flap requirements vary from state to state. Most states specify that mud flaps are required for trucks, trailers, and semi-trailers. A few also mention truck-tractors and buses. Even though pickup trucks may be put to commercial as well as personal uses, most state laws do not mention pickup truck mud flaps one way or the other, the implication being that flaps are not required for pickups even when their purpose is commercial. One exception is Arizona, which leaves nothing to chance by stating that only in the event that the pickup truck has been modified from the original bumper height are mud flaps required.
The federal government does not regulate the use of mud flaps, delegating that responsibility to the states. As a result, there is no universal standard to which mud flaps must adhere in terms of size, materials, decorations, etc. Fortunately, custom mud flaps can be constructed to specifications that satisfy the requirements in all the states where you intend to travel.
Protection for Others
No one wants to be splashed or struck by mud, water, or debris from another vehicle’s tires, but these materials not only represent an annoyance for others on the road but a hazard. Mud or water splashed on another vehicle’s windshield from your tires can obscure the other driver’s vision, potentially causing a wreck. A small rock kicked up and flung from your tires can travel up to twice as fast as your vehicle is going. As a result, it can cause damage to the windshield of a nearby car and possibly even injury to a bystander or pedestrian. Mud flaps interfere with the trajectory of these materials and slow down their velocity.
Protection for Your Vehicle
As you travel in your commercial vehicle, your tires come in contact with a wide variety of materials. Needless to say, these include water, dirt, stones, and mud, but they may also include metal pieces, tar, and spilled automotive fluids. These materials can be corrosive or otherwise damaging to your vehicle itself. The areas that are particularly vulnerable are the undercarriage and the exterior paint. The wheel wells are intended to protect these elements but are often not sufficient. Mud flaps provide extra protection where you need it most, right around the tires.
Protection for Commercial Vehicles and More
The benefits of having mud flaps are not limited to large commercial vehicles. Even pickups used for personal purposes can take advantages of the protection provided by mud flaps. Learn more by calling Uni-Vue Inc. at 248-250-9099.