We've all been there. At one time or another we find ourselves driving down the highway only to notice a minivan or truck up ahead with a mattress or other piece of furniture haphazardly attached to the vehicle. It wobbles, it sways, and we do our best to get as far away from that vehicle as possible.
Just how dangerous are these poorly secured loads? According to a recent study conducted by AAA, the answer is that these dangers pose a large risk to everyone on the roads.
What did the study find?
According to researchers with the study, between the years of 2011 and 2014 there were over 200,000 accidents in the United States connected to a poorly secured load falling off another vehicle. Some examples of accidents that can result from these situations include:
- Hitting debris. The most obvious form of accident that can result in these situations is when the debris actually strikes another vehicle.
- Hitting other vehicles. Drivers may attempt to swerve to avoid oncoming debris. This could result in a collision with nearby traffic or an accident that forces you off the road. According to the study, this type of accident is responsible for 37 percent of fatalities in debris-related accidents.
It is also important to note that these accidents involve more than just unsecured loads. Debris can also include pieces of the vehicle. If a vehicle is not properly maintained, portions can fall off. A stray bumper or flying side mirror can also contribute to debris-related accidents.
What should I do if I am injured in a debris-related car crash?
Drivers are expected to operate their vehicles safely. If this expectation is not met, the driver can be held responsible for a resulting accident through a personal injury suit. This suit can lead to monetary awards, providing compensation to victims to cover the costs associated with the accident.