Why is road debris the highest rated cause of freeway crashes?

A recently released study conducted by the the Traffic Safety Foundation, part of the American Automobile Association (AAA), suggests that one of the highest risk factors for highway crashes is road debris. They note that lost loads and other types of hazards accounted for at least 200,000 freeway accidents starting in 2011 and ending in 2014. At least 500 of those crashes resulted in driver fatalities.

AAA argues that virtually all of these incidents could have been avoided had motorists taken the appropriate measures necessary to better contain their loads, or if they'd performed regular maintenance on their vehicles. In terms of the former, the researchers found that at least two-thirds of highway crashes were caused by objects becoming dislodged from cars.

Researchers also found that, in instances in which debris did fall from a vehicle, the chances of it causing a crash was four times higher on a freeway that it was on city streets. It's believed that this is the case because motorists tend to drive faster on freeways.

This might explain why at least a third of all motorists driving along highways are likely to die in crashes involving debris. The speed at which a motorist is traveling when they swerve to avoid hitting an object often results in them losing complete control of the vehicle.

In all 50 states, there are laws on the books that allow for individuals who lose their loads on the highway to be held criminally liable. Some of the biggest culprits are worn tires and improperly secured or poorly attached car parts. The lack of use of netting or a tarp to cover smaller, lightweight pieces can cause distractions as well.

It happens all the time -- either an unsecured object comes flying off a car in front of you or a motorist loses control of the car after someone in front of them has a tire blowout. If you've been seriously injured in a similar type of incident, then a Vista car accident attorney can advise you of remedies that are available to you in your legal matter.

Source: ABC News, "New study shows risks of road debris in highway crashes," Jeffrey Cook, accessed Dec. 01, 2017

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