We’ve all seen vehicles packed to the max and cruising down a highway or freeway. The load teeters this way and that and is just looking for one more bump in the road. And when that bump arrives — well, you know.
Here’s a shocking — but not surprising — statistic. Since 2001 the number of motor vehicle crashes caused by road debris has skyrocketed and is up 40%. In the last four years alone there have been 200,000-plus crashes.
AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety did a study of the statistics and found between 2011 and 2014 those crashes caused 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths. Jurek Grabowski — an AAA spokesman — said, “This new report shows that road debris can be extremely dangerous but all of these crashes are preventable. 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.”
Here are some horrifying facts from the research:
• 37% of those deaths resulted from the driver swerving to avoid something in the road.
• 33% of the crashes happened between 10 a.m. and 3:59 p.m. which is when most people haul heavy items like furniture.
• Debris crashes are most likely to occur on an Interstate highway.
• Crashes on Interstates at high speeds increases the risk of vehicle parts becoming detached or cargo items to falling onto the highway.
• 66% of crashes are because of loads poorly secured or vehicles being improperly maintained.
Here’s what we see falling from vehicles the most:
• Tires, wheels, etc.
• Furniture, appliances and other unsecured items.
• Trailers being towed coming loose and hitting another vehicle or stopping suddenly on the roadway after they’ve come loose.
AAA also offers tips on how people hauling said items can avoid such troubles:
• Keep your vehicle well-maintained — good tires that are properly inflated, exhaust systems that are solid and not falling apart.
• Tie large loads down with rope, straps or netting.
• Tie large objects directly to the vehicle or the trailer.
• Cover the load — all of it — with a tarp or a net.
• Never overload a vehicle.
• And do that final inspection — twice or three times — before moving on.
Source link: PropertyCasualty360.com