There’s generally an uptick in the number of motorists on the road during the summer. Students are returning home from college. More people are taking advantage of the warm weather to get construction projects underway, and individuals are moving in and out of town.
While most motorists have a good idea about how to best secure their oversized cargo in their vehicles so that it doesn’t get away from them, others do not — and loose cargo can lead to dangerous road debris.
How often does road debris cause accidents in the U.S.?
A recent study conducted by AAA highlighted how road debris caused an estimated 200,000 crashes during a three-year period. Another ABC News study highlighted how road debris causes an estimated 50,000 annual crashes. At least 440 motorists lose their lives in similar accidents each year.
Many motorists will cram whatever they can into the beds of their trucks or their trunks or tie things to the top of their vehicles to avoid getting a rental truck or paying a mover. They then get on the interstate and try to travel at the standard rate of speed that they would if they weren’t carrying anything, not realizing the dangers that may pose to both themselves and others.
Dump truck operators may also place tires, building materials or home goods such as furniture or appliances in their truck beds, not realizing that their sudden braking on congested highways may cause everything to fall out. Motorists have little time to stop to avoid it falling on them or them crashing into it.
Road debris poses many dangers to motorists. Even a small object can become like a projectile when it flies off a vehicle when a motorist travels at a high rate of speed. The distance between the two vehicles can determine the impact any cargo that becomes loose makes. A motorist unable to brake in time to avoid colliding with machinery puts themselves at risk of damaging and disabling their car, making them more vulnerable to an additional crash.
How should you proceed if road debris leaves you injured?
Every now and again, you’ll hear a story on the news about someone who suffered life-altering injuries because a tire or some other road debris got loose from a vehicle. An attorney can go over how Louisiana law may allow you to recover compensation if such a situation happened to you.