Road Debris Crashes Have Increased by 40 Percent Since 2001
Posted on behalf of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Aug 26, 2016 in Car Accidents
A new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveals that there was a 40 percent increase in road debris car accidents from 2001 to 2014. There were more than 200,000 of these accidents from 2011 to 2014, resulting in 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths.
More than one third of the deaths from these accidents are caused by drivers swerving to avoid objects in the road, with many drivers losing control of their vehicles.
AAA found that approximately 66 percent of road debris crashes involve unsecured loads that fell off people's vehicles and onto the road. Another study from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that unsecured load crashes caused 440 deaths and 10,000 injuries in 2010.
The GAO study also found that these accidents were more likely to occur in states that had few laws that punished offenders.
While every state has made unsecured loads illegal, only 16 states have jail time as a possible penalty and only 11 states have laws allowing them to fine offenders more than $500. In fact, some states treat unsecured loads like littering.
How to Avoid Road Debris Crashes
AAA advises drivers to take a few precautions to prevent objects from falling off of their vehicles:
- If you are transporting large objects in a truck bed, make sure to tie the objects securely to the truck bed with rope, netting or straps.
- Properly maintain your tires as worn tires are more prone to blowouts, which can leave large pieces of rubber in the road.
- Always double check to make sure the load is secure.
If you are driving behind a vehicle with a potentially unsecured load, drive defensively and leave plenty of space between both vehicles. Also, if an object is approaching your vehicle, slow down as much as possible before making contact with the object.
If you have been injured in a car crash caused by an unsecured load, contact the car accident attorneys at D'Amico & Pettinicchi to review your legal options.
Call (866) 848-7077 for your free, no obligation consultation.