Road debris accidents can be a nightmare situation for drivers. We dread the possibility of a mattress in the middle of our lane on the freeway, a large piece of construction material sliding from the back of a truck or a tree falling in front of us on a rural highway. The road can be a dangerous place, and this isn’t just fearmongering. The numbers show these kinds of accidents are a serious threat. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, road debris has caused more than 200,000 accidents and 500 deaths in the last five years.
Major freeways in particular have a large number of incidents where drivers attempt to avoid debris and swerve into traffic. This can cause a series of other accidents along the road.
How to Prevent Road Debris Accidents
1: Keep Our Roads Clean
Many accidents happen quickly and without warning, but common road debris items such as old tires and car parts still present dangers of their own. Community efforts to report and quickly remove road debris may be a secret to minimizing the danger. It may be hard to stop an accident the moment after debris falls onto the road, but no one should be surprised by the same obstacle several hours later.
2: Keep Cargo Secure
The best way to prevent road debris accidents is to ensure that items that don’t belong on the road never get there in the first place. If you are carrying cargo in your truck or SUV, make sure to do it safely. If items are in the trunk, make extra sure the latch is locked shut. If you are using a pickup bed, never overload. Even if you’re in a hurry, it’s better to take multiple trips than to put others in danger. Secure items by tying them down or covering them with a sturdy tarp.
3: Practice Defensive Driving
Unfortunately, you can’t always count on others to do the right thing. This means if you want to stay safe you’ll need to prepare for the worse. Avoid tailgating closely behind other vehicles on the road. Additionally, be vigilant of potential obstacles. Make a quick visual scan of the road every 12 to 15 seconds to ensure there are not any unknown dangers ahead.
Road debris accidents are a danger to everyone on the road. Hopefully, by following these simple steps we can all help keep ourselves a little bit safer.
Targan Pender & Strickland, P.C. is a New Jersey personal injury law firm that helps victims of injury seek justice in the Cape May and Atlantic City areas.