A recent report from the Automotive Association of America (AAA) shows that road debris is a serious problem on highways in the United States. According to the report, between 2011 and 2014, more than 200,000 accidents in the U.S. were either caused by road debris, or road debris played a factor in the crash. These accidents resulted in roughly 39,000 injuries and 500 fatalities. Here is what you need to know about – and how to protect yourself from – the dangers of road debris.
Road Debris is a Growing Problem
The AAA report also noted that the problem of road debris was increasing. In fact, the number of automotive crashes in which road debris was a factor was up 40 percent from 2001.
The Most Common Causes of Road Debris
Road debris is caused by a number of factors – most of which are entirely preventable. The most common types of road debris include:
Unsecured cargo – This may include a wide variety of objects which may fall from vehicles on to the road surface. These may include appliances, construction equipment, furniture, ladders, lumber, paint cans, tools or tree branches. According to AAA, 66 percent of accidents caused by road debris can be attributed to unsecured cargo.
Automotive parts – Poorly maintained vehicles can lose parts while moving. The most common automotive parts which lead to accidents include bolts, tanks, tires, wheels, car exhausts, and other loose parts.
Trailers – When vehicles are towing things, such as trailers, boats, cars, or anything else, sometimes the hitch can malfunction and detach from the towing vehicle, leading to accidents.
Injuries for Road Debris Crashes
When a driver encounters road debris while driving, the first instinct is usually to swerve to avoid the debris. This is especially true when high speeds are involved. According to the report, 37 percent of all deaths related to road debris crashes involved a driver swerving to avoid hitting debris. The report also states that these last-minute overcorrections increase a driver’s chances of losing control and “make a bad situation worse”.
For those not killed, the injuries involved with road debris crashes can be catastrophic. With crash speeds estimated at between 55 and 85 mph, those injured may be subjected to sprains or broken bones, cuts and lacerations, bruising, internal injuries including organ damage, spinal cord injuries, back injuries, traumatic brain injuries, or even severe burns and disfiguration.
Because of the potentially life-altering injuries a road debris accident can cause, it is essential that drivers remain vigilant to the dangers on the road and always take steps to ensure their vehicles are properly maintained at all times.
Injured in a Crash? Contact DeZao Law Today
If you are injured in a crash involving road debris, seek expert legal guidance right away. Make sure you speak with a knowledgable and experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A today. Our law firm is here to assist you with your personal injury case and help you claim the compensation you rightly deserve. Call us today at (855) 432-2489 for a free, no-obligation consultation.