Researchers working on a 2016 study by the American Automobile Association (AAA) captured how road debris is responsible for some of the deadliest car crashes in the United States. In fact, between 2011 and 2014, there were more than 200,000 collisions caused by road debris. Approximately 500 people died and another 39,000 were injured in these crashes. This led AAA to highlight some risk factors for road debris accidents.
AAA’s researchers found that cargo or car parts are most apt to become dislodged from a vehicle when it’s traveling at a high rate of speed. They also determined that at least two-thirds of debris-related crashes are caused by unsecured or improperly maintained loads.
Poorly secured appliances, trailers, and furniture are to blame for many of these incidents. Tires from blowouts are the car part most apt to become detached from a vehicle.
The researchers also found that at least 37 percent of those who die from road-debris accidents do so because they swerve to avoid striking something that’s fallen off a vehicle. At least 33 percent of these crashes occur between 10 a.m. and 3:59 p.m., times during which motorists are most apt to transport heavy construction equipment or furniture.
A spokesperson with AAA’s Driver Training Programs recommends that all motorists constantly scan the roadway 12 to 15 seconds ahead of them for potential debris in their path. If they notice anything, drivers should reduce their speed and move into another lane.
They also recommend that all motorists regularly inspect their vehicles for potential hazards such as dragging mufflers or under-inflated or worn tires.
In Connecticut, it’s against the law for motorists to take any car on the highway that’s in ill-repair or that’s overloaded. It’s also illegal for drivers to use their vehicle to carry a load without securely affixing a cover to keep everything in place and off the roadway. New Haven motorists who violate these laws are subject to fines.
When a family member is hurt or killed in a car accident, it can affect a family on many levels — especially financially. This is why it’s important for them to have strong representation in serious accident cases.