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The Underestimated Accident Risks of Road Debris

Thousands of accidents in the United States every year are linked not to drunk driving, or speeding, but to road debris. According to a new study, these accidents killed as many as 500 people between 2011 and 2014.

The data were released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, and found that road debris was responsible for more than 200,000 car accidents in the United States over a four-year period. These resulted in approximately 39,000 injuries and 500 fatalities. An analysis of the data indicate worse news. It appears that accidents that are linked directly to road debris have increased by 40% since the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety began analyzing these risks back in 2011.

Most accidents seem to be the result of drivers swerving the car in order to avoid hitting a piece of debris on the road. About 37% of all fatalities occurred in accidents like these. In these cases, the driver is at a high risk of losing control of the steering and the vehicle.

More than a third of these accidents occurred at night, when it is much more difficult to spot debris in time to avoid an accident. Nighttime also happens to be when many people are moving furniture, or heavy equipment on the road. Most accidents also occur on highways.

Most debris tends to consist of tires, pieces of furniture, and household appliances that fall off trucks, and trailers that separate from the main towing vehicle. Simple steps like securing loads can prevent pieces of items in your vehicle from falling onto the road, and posing a potential danger to other motorists. In fact, improperly secured loads, and lack of maintenance were a factor in approximately two thirds of all accidents linked to road debris. There isn’t much that a driver can do to help avoid hitting a piece of road debris in his path, except slowing down to reduce impact.

If you have been in a road debris accident, contact the legal team at Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall today.