Drivers are responsible for being attentive to the road and doing their best to prevent accidents. But sometimes accidents occur because of circumstances that cannot be controlled, such as those caused by debris – like car parts or items that fall off trucks – on the road.
Accidents Caused by Road Debris:
A study by AAA showed that between 2011 and 2014, 200,000 traffic accidents were caused by road debris, resulting in over 500 deaths and nearly 39,000 injuries.
More than one-third of these deaths occurred when a driver swerved to avoid debris, causing them to lose control or hit another vehicle. When a driver is in an accident where the actions of another vehicle cause them to crash, without a collision occurring between the two vehicles, these are called no-contact accidents.
These types of accidents can be difficult to navigate as there is often no way to identify the vehicle or driver from which the debris came. But, an injured party can usually state a claim with their own insurance company under their uninsured motorist coverage. An experienced automobile accident attorney like Hupy and Abraham can help you with this.
How Debris Causes Accidents:
According to the AAA study, two-thirds of the fatal road debris-related accidents were caused by unsecured loads or mechanical failures. The most common types of road debris that lead to car accidents are:
- Furniture, appliances and other household objects that are not secured.
- Tires and other parts that can detach from a vehicle.
- Trailers that become detached and strike other vehicles.
Five Tips To Prevent Debris-Related Accidents:
- Secure all loads with the appropriate netting, tethers, straps and tarps. Do not overload.
- Fasten loads directly to the vehicle, considering bumps and potholes in the road that may shake the load loose.
- Maintain your own vehicle to avoid tires, fenders or exhaust pipes that may fall off while driving.
- Note the vehicles ahead of you that are heavily loaded or have parts that may become dislodged. Leave a reasonable space between yourself and these vehicles so you can avoid any potential debris.
- Retrieve an item that has fallen off your vehicle only if it is safe to do so. If it is not safe, but poses an immediate danger, call 911. If it does not pose a danger and you cannot retrieve it, call your state’s Department of Transportation.