A large state like Texas has an intricate system of highways and interstates to facilitate transportation via cars and trucks. Unfortunately, interstate highways are also the most common sites of accidents that occur due to debris on the road. Not only does driving a car or truck at high speeds increase the likelihood of cargo falling off the vehicle onto the roadway or parts of the automobile itself becoming detached, but striking the object at a high velocity can also result in a more serious accident.
Forbes Magazine reports that the number of crashes caused by road debris over a four-year span exceeded 200,000. More than 500 deaths and approximately 39,000 injuries resulted. What makes this figure particularly tragic is that those accidents did not necessarily have to happen. Drivers and others who use the road can take steps to prevent the debris from ending up on the road in the first place by properly securing all cargo loads and keeping vehicles maintained.
In the meantime, drivers may still encounter debris on the road. If so, however, an accident is not a foregone conclusion. According to AAA, there are steps that drivers can take to avoid accidents related to road debris.
- Safely reduce speed before contact
Swerving to avoid an object on the road results in one out of three deaths that occur due to road debris.
- Avoid tailgating
Maintaining a safe following distance not only allows drivers more time to scan for debris; it also gives them more time to react if other vehicles slow down to avoid an object on the road.
- Search the road
When looking for debris, scan the road ahead at least 12 to 15 seconds.
- Maintain open space
Whenever possible, drivers should maintain open space to steer into to avoid debris. Either or both sides of the vehicle should remain open, as well as the front.
By taking steps to both prevent road debris from occurring and avoiding it when it does, drivers may be able to prevent these accidents.