Road Debris a Factor in Truck Accidents and Injuries
Driving down the highway, it is hard not to notice the amount of debris that accumulates. Cardboard boxes, pieces of tire or metal, and pieces of tarp regularly litter the sides of the road and cause drivers to weave from lane to lane to avoid collisions. The fact is, road debris presents a significant danger and is a factor in truck accidents involving other motorists. Failing to properly maintain their rigs or to properly secure loads is a common problem in the trucking industry, and the driver along with the truck company can be held liable when these accidents occur.
Road Debris and Traffic
According to studies from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, roughly 50,000 car and truck accidents are caused by debris on road ways each year. Nearly 40 percent of these accidents occur due to drivers having to swerve to avoid hitting this debris. While littering has a significant impact both on the environment and on public safety, roughly two thirds of all road debris is the result of improper maintenance and unsecured loads. Common types of road debris include:
- Vehicle parts, such as tires, wheels, or tailpipes;
- Unsecured cargo, including garbage, construction materials, and boxes;
- Trailers becoming unhitched and either hitting other drivers or landing in the road.
To protect yourself, the AAA recommends keeping an eye out ahead for random items that could fly up and hit your vehicle. Avoid tailgating or following too closely behind trucks, and try to always leave plenty of space on either side of your vehicle in the event you need to suddenly switch lanes.
Rules for Securing Loads
While each state has its own rules and regulations concerning traffic safety issues and the trucking industry, the fact that truckers rely heavily on interstate travel means there is plenty of federal oversight as well. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides guidelines to prevent road debris and car or truck accidents in the Driver’s Handbook on Cargo Securement. It covers everything from the types of materials hauled to weight limits and the required methods for strapping down and securing different types of loads.
When any driver fails to secure cargo properly, they can be held responsible for the damage that occurs as a result. When it comes to truck accidents, the trucking company may be legally liable for damages you suffer through an accident claim or personal injury lawsuit. As the result of failing to follow state and local standards or for failing to properly maintain their fleet, you may be entitled to compensation for the injuries and losses you suffered.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
Truck accidents and incidents involving other motorists can cause serious and potentially fatal injuries. When these types of accidents occur, our West Palm Beach truck accident attorney is here to help. Call or contact Gregg Wexler at the Wexler Law Firm, P.A. online and request a consultation to find out how we can assist you in getting the compensation you need to recover.