The number of car accidents involving road debris has increased by 40 percent since 2001, according to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. These types of car accidents caused 500 deaths and 39,000 injuries between 2011 and 2014.
In more than one third of the accidents where someone died, drivers swerved to avoid road debris and lost control of their vehicles. There were also situations where cars struck the debris, causing collisions with other vehicles.
The AAA study reveals that road debris car accidents are more likely to happen on interstate highways because cars are traveling at high speeds.
Darkness and adverse weather were not major factors in road debris collisions, but these crashes are more likely to happen between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The study also found that nearly two thirds of accidents involving debris in the road were the result of unsecured loads, including appliances, furniture, wheels and tow trailers, among other things.
The AAA report advises drivers to take the following steps to prevent debris from falling onto roadways:
- Avoid driving on underinflated tires. Tires with low pressure are more likely to suffer a blowout, which leaves large pieces of rubber in the road.
- Double check items you are carrying. Loads should be tied directly to your car with straps, netting or rope.
- Do not overload your vehicle. You can only safely transport so much cargo with your car. Overloading puts other drivers at risk of a serious accident.
Preventing debris from falling to the road is more than just the right thing to do, as some states impose severe fines and even jail time for causing road debris.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident related to road debris or some other form of negligence, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact the experienced car accident attorneys at Simien & Simien to discuss your legal options. A personal injury attorney from our firm can help to review the details of your claim and determine if you are eligible to file a damages lawsuit.
Call (800) 374-8422 for a free legal consultation.