Unsecured Loads and Road Debris Cause Deadly Crashes
Road debris and unsecured loads cause avoidable, deadly accidents.
Imagine traveling down the highway at 60 mph and seeing a piece of scrap metal come flying off the back of a truck into your windshield. Or being hit by a driver who swerved to avoid a piece of furniture on the road. While these might sound like freak accidents, these sorts of crashes happen too often.
According to a new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, unsecured loads and debris in the road lead to 200k crashes between 2011-2014. During that time, debris-related crashes caused 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths.
“Road debris” includes anything from a shredded tire to a sofa, to a detached trailer. This excludes “natural” debris like tree branches or animals in the roadway.
All 50 states have laws against road debris and unsecured loads. Penalties range from a fine to jail time. However, many safety advocates lament the fact that, in many cases, the criminal penalty for an unsecured load that results in harm or death amounts to little more than a ticket for littering.
Whether you’re hauling scrap metal across the country, or moving a mattress across town, always properly secure your load.
Secure Load Checklist
- Don’t overload the truck or trailer.
- Make sure objects are tied directly to the vehicle.
- Make sure the entire load is secured with the appropriate tethers, netting, tarp, and straps.
- Consider the possibility that you’ll hit potholes and bumps in the road. If this might shake your load loose, it is not secure enough.
- Ask yourself, would I feel safe driving behind my load?
- If, while driving, something falls from your vehicle, don’t just drive away. If you cannot safely retrieve it, alert highway patrol to the potential danger to other motorists.
Finally, if you encounter debris in the road, notify the police. If you become involved in an accident due to an unsecured load or object in the road, contact a truck accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys. The driver responsible for putting other drivers at risk should face the consequences of their negligence.
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