A new report was issued recently by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. After analyzing data from various sources, the results suggest that road debris was a factor in an estimated average of 50,658 police-reported crashes nationally, which resulted in 9,805 injuries and 125 deaths annually in the United States over years 2011 – 2014. Vehicle parts and cargo were the predominant sources of debris in the crashes examined. AAA says that’s a 40% increase since 2001, when the organization first studied the problem.
Georgia laws prohibit driving with an unsecured load
According to Georgia State law:
No person shall operate or load for operation, on any public road, any vehicle with any load unless such load and any covering thereon is securely fastened so as to prevent said covering or load from:
(1) Becoming loose, detached, or in any manner becoming a hazard to other users of the public road; or
(2) Depositing litter on public or private property while such vehicle is on a public road.
If a driver is caught driving with an unsecured load, they will be charged with a misdemeanor.
When debris ends up on Georgia roads, injuries and deaths are a common result
While the legal penalty seems quite minor, the human cost of road debris can be devastating. In this recent article published on CNN Wire, the injuries and deaths that have occurred due to road debris are brought into sharp focus.
How can we encourage drivers to secure their loads?
There is ongoing discussion about increasing the criminal penalties for engaging in this unsafe behavior. Also, public education efforts are underway, including a new paragraph about unsecured loads added to the National Transportation Law recently signed by President Obama.
If you have questions about what to do after being injured in a collision caused by road debris, give us a call.