A recent AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety review of debris-related accidents showed that these crashes happen twice as frequently as the Foundation previously thought. In fact, road debris contributed to or caused about 10,000 injuries on the nation’s roadways each year between 2011 and 2014.
Most of this debris comes from other vehicles, and can include unsecured cargo as well as parts from poorly maintained cars and trucks. When traveling on the interstate or other high-speed highways, this debris — and accidents spurred by swerving to avoid it — often leads to serious injuries.
What did the AAA Foundation study uncover?
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety studied several databases of accidents that occurred between 2011 and 2014. These databases showed an average of 50,658 debris-related crashes reported to the police each year nationwide. Previous AAA reports put this total at closer to 25,000 accidents a year.
According to the new study, in addition to the almost 10,000 injuries, these crashes also led to 125 deaths each year between 2011 and 2014.
How can I help prevent road debris crashes?
By taking certain precautions while driving, you can reduce your chances of being involved in a debris-related crash. This includes:
- Not following too closely, especially at high speeds
- Continually scanning the road several car lengths in front of you while driving
- Avoiding contact with any debris when possible
- Slowing down as much as possible if you spot unavoidable debris
In addition to reducing your likelihood of being involved in a road debris car accident, you can also help reduce the number of debris crashes on America’s roadways by reducing the chances that you lose items from your vehicle. Debris comes from two major sources:
- Poorly maintained vehicles, and
- Lost cargo
Ensuring you maintain your car and having a trained mechanic check for potential tire or exhaust system problems as a part of the routine maintenance performed on your car can help reduce road debris.
Properly securing cargo is also important. When moving furniture or other items, always secure the items with rope, straps, or a tarp, and double check the load to make sure it will not shift or blow out at high speeds.
Who is liable for road debris crashes?
According to the study, about two-thirds of roadway debris crashes occur due to items coming loose from another vehicle. Other causes include fallen trees on the roadway and chunks of broken asphalt or rocks in the driving lane.
When another motorist loses cargo, that driver may be responsible for your injuries and property damage. The same is true if you can prove improper maintenance on the other car caused your crash. Local or state governments may be liable for injuries if you crashed due to debris from a poorly maintained roadway.
If you suffered serious injuries in a road debris-related crash, Cordisco & Saile LLC can help you identify the liable party and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at 215-642-2335 to schedule a free case evaluation.