Driving on roads can be an adventure on days when perfect weather exists. That’s because even individuals with impeccable driving records can sometimes inadvertently find themselves in the path of dangerous debris on the road. Such circumstances can lead to accidents or be part of a chain reaction of collisions that heightens the prospect of tragedy.
This debris can come in the form of tree branches from a recent storm, a blown-out tire that was never removed from the road or items that inadvertently fell from the truck. Accidents of this nature can result in the death of both drivers and passengers, with an estimated 40 percent of vehicle deaths in this fashion taking place because the driver attempted to avoid debris.
In 2015, AAA published the results of an examination of road debris accidents from the previous four years. Those numbers indicated that an average of 9,800 people were injured and 125 people killed each year in the 50,000 accidents of this nature taking place during that span. The latter number is actually double what it was back in 2001.
The most likely spot for such accidents was generally considered to be freeways, where the high rates of speed involved reduce the reaction time for those driving. As a result, these specific accidents took place about four times as much in those in other areas.
Despite those differences, other less hectic areas aren’t immune to such dangers. Homeowners who fail to maintain those branches that can find their way onto the street or let garbage cans turn a residential street into an obstacle course can also pose dangers.
The gender of the victims of these accidents shouldn’t necessarily be a pertinent topic. Still, the AAA research discovered that roughly 20 percent of those individuals who were either hit by debris or were unable to avoid striking it were men.
Meanwhile, the timing of the accidents more commonly occurred during some of the slower periods of driving. Between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. was the most prevalent period, while weather usually wasn’t any more of a factor than expected.
In the case of any debris that might have fallen from a vehicle, the driver can often be unaware that anything has happened, which means that they don’t bother to stop. When it comes to trucks, these situations take place either because of tight deadlines established by the driver’s employer, poor training that failed to show the driver how to secure cargo or a weak hiring policy by that employer.
Determining the liability in these cases may involve seeking out legal assistance in order to obtain compensation for any repairs, injuries or deaths taking place.