This New Study Emphasizes the Dangers of Road Debris
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This New Study Emphasizes the Dangers of Road Debris

In 2013, more than 5 million non-fatal car accidents occurred in the United States. Each year, about 673,000 people are injured and nearly 7,400 die in weather-related vehicular accidents, 75% of which are caused by wet pavement. But while weather is a major factor leading to dangerous driving conditions, it is not the only one. Not only can road debris like discarded tires, metal parts, and other litter cause accidental damage to your car, it can be deadly.

According to a recent study released by AAA, road debris caused nearly 200,000 accidents, 39,000 injuries, and more than 500 deaths between 2001 and 2014.

What Causes the Debris?

As many as two-thirds of debris-related accidents happen because of items falling out of a vehicle due to unsecured loads and poor maintenance. If you happen to be driving behind one of these trucks, you could experience accidental damage to your car that will require an expensive visit to an auto body shop. Other forms of debris include parts becoming detached from a vehicle, such as tires and bumpers, and tow trailers becoming separated.

Why is Debris So Deadly?

The study also revealed exactly how road debris causes so many deaths. The research determined that 37% of all deaths in road debris crashes occurred because the driver swerved to avoid hitting an object. By over-correcting to move around debris, the driver increases his risk of losing control of the vehicle, making a bad situation more dangerous. These mistakes are responsible for a lot more than accidental damage to your car; they can endanger your life and the lives of those around you.

“This new report shows that road debris can be extremely dangerous but all of these crashes are preventable,” said Jurek Grabowski, research director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Drivers can easily save lives and prevent injuries by securing their loads and taking other simple precautions to prevent items from falling off the vehicle.”

Be Cautious

More than one-third of debris-related crashes take place between 10 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., when many drivers are hauling or moving heavy cargo like construction equipment or furniture. Believe it or not, leaving road debris can come with serious consequences.

Jennifer Ryan, director of state relations for AAA, said that, “It’s important for drivers to know that many states have hefty fines and penalties for drivers who drop items from their vehicle onto the roadway, and in some cases, states impose jail time.”

If you are the victim of an accident caused by road debris, you will inevitably have to make a trip to an auto body shop for repairs. For car repair service and advice, seek help from an experienced auto body repair shop, like Merton Auto Body.

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