For many victims of debris-caused wrecks, it seems like something out of a horror movie. They are traveling behind commercial trucks with heavy loads on the highway. Suddenly, the lumber or towed vehicle breaks free and falls into the drivers’ path. Whether drivers swerve or slam on the brakes, the possibility of injuries runs high.
How often does this happen? According to a study conducted by the AAA Foundation, it happened 200,000 times between 2011 and 2014. These incidents led to 39,000 injures and killed 500 people.
What the statistics say
When conducting the study, the AAA Foundation noticed a few trends. Drivers may wish to keep this in mind to better reduce their chances of encountering these accidents:
- Highways remain the number one roadway type where debris-related crashes occur.
- Almost 37% of the deaths recorded occurred in cases where the driver swerved to avoid hitting the object.
- Debris-related crashes happen most often from 10 a.m. to 3:39 p.m.
The main types of debris
Roughly two-thirds of debris-related crashes occur when drivers do not properly secure their loads. One of the most common forms of debris related to these crashes is when furniture and other improperly secured loads break free and fall onto the roadway. Secondly, towed trailers can become detached and create crash risks on the highway. Finally, parts may detach from vehicles, such as a wheel from a truck.
NBC DFW reports that not only are these crashes occurring at an alarming rate, but they are on the rise. It urges drivers to take greater precautions when securing their loads to prevent road hazards and reduce traffic fatalities.