When you think about accidents involving poorly secured loads, you often think about crashes involving commercial trucks or semi-trucks. However, cargo falling from commercial trucks is not the main source of road debris. Federal regulations have strict standards for loads on commercial vehicles.  Loads must be secured in accordance with these regulations to avoid items falling off the vehicle causing a hazardous road condition that can lead to a crash.

However, many drivers transporting items on passenger vehicles don’t take the same care when securing their loads. Failing to secure items can result in road debris that causes dangerous conditions for other drivers.

Report Shows Drivers Aren’t Properly Security Loads

A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed the road debris resulted in 39,000 injuries and more than 500 deaths from traffic accidents between 2011 and 2014. Researchers conducting the study noted that roughly two-thirds of accidents involving road debris were caused by items that fell off vehicles because the items were not properly secured or items falling off vehicles due to a lack of vehicle maintenance.

According to AAA, the most common types of vehicle debris that can cause traffic accident are:

  • Vehicle parts become detached and falling from the vehicle
  • Unsecured or improperly secured cargo (i.e. furniture, appliances, etc.)
  • Tow trailers that become unhitched during transport

AAA notes that driver can reduce the risk of dangerous road debris by maintaining their vehicle and properly securing loads. Tips for securing loads include:

  • Covering the entire load with netting or tarps that are secured in place to prevent them from detaching or moving during transit
  • Using strong ropes or straps to secure loads
  • Don’t overload a vehicle
  • Tie heavy or large items directly to the vehicle or trailer
  • Always double check loads before leaving and during stops

All states have laws regarding items falling from vehicles. California Vehicle Code Section 24002 states “It is unlawful to operate any vehicle or combination of vehicles which is in an unsafe condition, or which is not safely loaded, and which presents an immediate safety hazard.”

Drivers Beware

Drivers can also take precautions to avoid an accident due to road debris caused by other drivers. AAA advises leaving open space on one side of your vehicle in case you need to swerve to avoid road debris. Avoid tailgating because you won’t have time to take evasive action if debris falls from the vehicle in front of you. Always remain alert and avoid distractions that can limit your ability to take action to avoid road debris.

For more information, read the complete article and access addition resources at the AAA NewsRoom.

Call a Fresno Personal Injury Attorney

If you are injured in an accident caused by road debris or falling objects from a vehicle, contact our Fresno personal injury attorney for help. Our office investigates your claim to determine your options for recovering compensation for your injuries.

For a free legal consultation and free case evaluation, call Torem & Associates at 1-800-954-4444 or use the online contact form on our website. Take advantage of a free appointment with an experienced Fresno personal injury attorney to learn about your legal rights to file an accident claim against the driver who caused your car accident.