A new report by AAA shows that debris that has fallen from a vehicle, is a factor in more than 200,000 police-reported crashes. Those crashes included 500 people who died and about 39,000 injuries between the years 2011 and 2014.
According to the Traffic Safety Study, about two-thirds of debris-related crashes are the result of items falling from a vehicle because of improper maintenance and unsecured loads. And since 2001, when the Foundation first issued its study, crashes involving vehicle related-debris have increased 40% .
- The most common types of debris that fall onto the roadway from vehicles are:
- Parts, such as tires, wheels or hubcaps that become detached from the vehicle;
- Unsecured cargo such as furniture, appliances and other items; and
- Tow trailers that become separated and either hit another vehicle or lands on the roadway.
“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.”