So your purchased a sweet new truck and now are wondering why you need mud flaps or mud guards on a truck. While in some states like Texas and Ohio there are actually laws around the requirement of mud flaps, the main purpose of mud flaps is to protect everyone around you and your truck from flying debris.
According to Wikipedia
A mudflap or mud guard is used in combination with the vehicle fender to protect the vehicle, passengers, other vehicles, and pedestrians from mud and other flying debris thrown into the air by the rotating tire.
Mud Flaps Protect Your Vehicle
Installing mud flaps can also prevent flying debris from damaging your vehicle's paint job which will prevent rust and corrosion. The mud flaps create a barrier between the tires and wheel well which, in-turn, protects the paint. Some people think mud flaps are not necessary, but they definitely benefit those that live in rainy, snowy and sandy climates or if you travel on a lot of gravel roads.
Mud Flap Laws Per State
Currently, there are no federal regulations governing mud flaps or splash/spray suppression devices. However, many states maintain their own requirements that vary considerably from state to state, and several states do not have any such regulations. Following is a summary of the requirements for mud flaps or splash/ spray suppression devices for all 50 states and the District of Columbia as of April 14, 2006. This summary is a brief listing of each state’s requirements as they pertain to trucks, buses and trailers. State regulations can change frequently, so you should consult an individual state’s Department of Transportation periodically for revisions or additional details.
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