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Strap Down that Couch: Road Debris Poses Serious Risks to San Diego Drivers

Drivers who fail to properly secure their loads to prevent dangerous debris are responsible for thousands of crashes on U.S. roadways, according to a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The study revealed that approximately 39,000 people were injured in crashes linked to roadway debris from 2011 through 2014.

Below are several other key findings regarding debris-related crashes:

  • Nearly 37 percent of all deaths in road debris crashes resulted from the driver swerving to avoid hitting an object. Overcorrecting at the last minute to avoid debris can increase a driver’s risk of losing control of his or her vehicle and make a bad situation worse.
  • More than one in three crashes involving debris occur between 10:00 a.m. and 3:59 p.m., a time when many people are on the road hauling or moving heavy items like furniture or construction equipment.
  • Debris-related crashes are much more likely to occur on Interstate highways. Driving at high speeds increases the risk for vehicle parts to become detached or cargo to fall onto the roadway.

Jurek Grabowski, research director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, highlighted that many of the crashes are preventable. “Drivers can easily save lives and prevent injuries by securing their loads and taking other simple precautions to prevent items from falling off the vehicle,” she stated.

Approximately two-thirds of debris-related crashes were caused by items falling from a vehicle due to improper maintenance and unsecured loads. Examples included a sofa tumbling into the road, a swing-set blocking the travel lanes, a tire falling off a vehicle, and a boat trailer detaching from its vehicle. Currently every state, including California, has laws that make it illegal for items to fall from a vehicle while on the road. Therefore, it is imperative to properly secure all loads.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a California car accident caused by a negligent driver, don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation. Relying on more than 30 years of legal experience, we work tirelessly to protect the rights of California injury victims.