I don’t know about you but there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not dodging some kind of road debris on the highway.
Road debris seems to be everywhere these days, and I’m not just talking blown tire scraps. The other day I actually spotted a pane of glass in the middle lane of the freeway.
Apparently I’m not the only one encountering a highway obstacle course on a near daily basis. Road debris is a huge problem on America’s roadways, according to the American Automobile Association. Its new study finds that more than 200,000 crashes involved road debris over the past four years. Those accidents resulted in approximately 39,000 injuries and more than 500 deaths between 2011 and 2014.
A CBS News report covered the study this week.
AAA also says crashes involving road debris are up 40 percent since 2001.
The problem isn’t just encountering road debris. It’s also dodging flying debris right in front of you. Check out these videos showing mattresses flying off of vehicles and onto the road in the middle of moving traffic.
Another video shows a huge piece of furniture falling off a vehicle because it wasn’t secured correctly. About two-thirds of debris-related crashes are the result of items falling from a vehicle due to improper maintenance and unsecured loads.
AAA researchers say many drivers don’t realize their responsibility in keeping debris off the roads. If you’d like to read up on state laws about it you can do so here. Most states’ penalties result in fines ranging from $10-$5,000, with at least 16 states listing jail as a possible punishment for offenders.
Here are some AAA tips to make sure your load is secured correctly.