Road debris causes auto accidents a lot more often than you would think. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that every year, on average, there are nearly 50,658 police reported auto accidents resulting from road debris. From these, AAA found that road debris causes around 9,805 injuries and 125 fatalities each year.
AAA’s Research Findings
AAA’s research, which included statistics from 2011 to 2014, also uncovered the following:
- The risk of a debris-related crash increases fourfold on an interstate highway.
- Debris-related crashes are — perhaps surprisingly — most common during daylight hours, between 10 a.m. and 3:59 p.m. They are least likely to occur between 6 a.m. and 9:59 a.m.
- Debris-related crashes were more likely to result in property damage.
- The drivers involved with debris-related crashes were more likely to be male.
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Perform Regular Maintenance, Always Secure Your Cargo
According to the report, about two-thirds of the accidents resulted from debris that was “vehicular in origin” (i.e., something that fell from or off of a car). To prevent being the cause of these accidents, you can do two things: perform regular maintenance on your vehicle and always secure any cargo.
You should always keep up with your car’s maintenance. In addition to ensuring your own safety, it helps you keep others around you safe. Many of these accidents resulted from things falling off vehicles (e.g., blown out tires, parts breaking off, etc.)
You can also save lives and prevent serious injuries by always securing your cargo. To do so, you can use rope, straps, or tarps.
Note: It is actually illegal in Ohio under ORC § 4513.31 to drive with any unsecured cargo. Violators will face misdemeanor charges.
How to Avoid Road Debris Accidents
There are several steps that you, as a driver, can take to help avoid road debris.
- First, never drive distracted. According to the Virginia Tech Transportation, the average driver reading or responding to a text takes her eyes off the road for four to five seconds. Those four seconds can make all the difference in avoiding a road hazard.
- Never tailgate. Most road debris accidents occur on high-speed interstates. If you are too close to the car in front of you, you may be unable to see the debris the driver is avoiding or you may be unable to stop to avoid a collision.
- Always scan the road in front of you. Make sure you are always scanning the road ahead of you; look for anything out of the ordinary, such as any cars swerving or stopping ahead and proceed with caution.
- Make sure your lights are on and bright. Debris on the roadway after dark can be almost invisible. Make sure that your lights are on and that they are bright enough to illuminate the road in front of you. If the light does not travel far, drive more slowly.
Get Help with Your Debris Accident Claim
If you or a loved one is injured in a road debris accident, call a Columbus car crash lawyer for help recovering compensation today. The legal team at Bressman Law can help you file a claim, gather evidence, negotiate with insurers, and even take your case to court if necessary.