Learn about the sources of road debris and how it causes accidents
Road debris can present a significant hazard for drivers. And according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the problem is getting worse.
In initial research on crashes in 2001, the AAA Foundation found that debris on the road contributed to about 25,000 car accidents and 90 deaths. In a more recent study using data from 2011 to 2014, researchers found that there were an average of 50,000 accidents and 125 deaths per year due to road debris. This represents a 100 percent increase in accidents and a 38 percent increase in deaths.
Types of Road Debris
Road debris can come from many different sources, but the most common source is a vehicle. Road debris could consist of:
- Parts like tires, wheels, or bumpers falling off a vehicle
- Unsecured cargo from a commercial or personal vehicle, such as boxes, furniture, wood, scrap metal, etc.
- Tow trailers that become detached from a vehicle
How Debris Causes Accidents
Debris in the roadway has the potential to cause a car accident in a variety of ways. According to the study, about 37 percent of accidents happened because drivers saw the debris and attempted to swerve out of the way, sometimes hitting other vehicles in the process and setting off a chain reaction of collisions. In other cases, the accidents were caused by the drivers actually hitting the debris. Some other accidents were caused by an item falling off another vehicle and hitting the driver, who then lost control of the vehicle.
Road debris is particularly dangerous on the highway, where drivers are traveling at higher speeds. Higher speeds mean less time to avoid the debris and more forceful impacts in the event of an accident.
Can You Sue After a Road Debris Accident?
Your ability to file a car accident injury lawsuit after an accident involving road debris depends on whether or not you can identify the at-fault party. In the case of an item that you saw fall off of a vehicle, it may be possible to get the license plate of that vehicle, track down the owner, and pursue compensation from them. In the case of an item that was already in the roadway, you might potentially be able to pursue a claim against the government body responsible for road maintenance. However, in order to do so, you would have to prove that the debris had been in the roadway for so long that the maintenance crews should reasonably have discovered and removed it and were negligent in not doing so.
Need Help with a Claim?
If you have been involved in an accident caused by road debris, call The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 now. We can explain your legal rights and options and help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries and other damages.