Each year, thousands suffer severe injuries or even wrongful death because of flying road debris. A study by AAA estimates that road debris is responsible for more than 200,000 accidents per year. That’s why it’s crucial all drivers understand the dangers of road debris.
What is Road Debris?
Road debris encompasses any loose vehicle part or piece of cargo that escapes the vehicle during travel. The majority of road debris comes from improperly secured equipment, though negligent vehicle maintenance is another common factor.
Certain kinds of cargo come with increased risk of harming trailing drivers. Uncovered truck beds, especially those carrying lumber, pose a significant risk. Unsecured lumber may fall off the truck and pierce the windshield of a passenger car.
When debris hits the windshield, the driver must exercise incredible mental fortitude as they will likely to panic and swerve across the road. A driver struck by road debris should slow down and move onto the shoulder as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, many road debris accidents don’t end at the windshield. Long pieces of cargo often break the glass and carry through, seriously injuring the driver and passengers. In these cases, the blame may lie with the loading crew as it was their failure in securing the cargo that allowed the accident to occur.
Negligent maintenance on the part of a mechanic, truck driver, or even a trucking company supervisor can also create road debris. Flayed tires are a common sight on American interstates. When these tires break, the remains fly into traffic at upwards of 70mph.
While the danger of a lumber truck is more obvious, any commercial vehicle could suddenly and unexpectedly suffer from a burst tire. When that happens, there’s often not enough time to swerve out of the way before disaster strikes.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries or even wrongful death due to flying road debris, you may have a case. If you’d like an experienced Denver auto injury attorney from Springer & Steinberg to evaluate your claim, please call (303) 861-2800 or send us an email.