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How to Prevent Things from Falling Off Your Car (and Causing an Accident)

By DiBella Law Offices on August 6, 2017

A recent AAA study reported that over 200,000 collisions occurred in a four-year span because of debris on U.S. roadways, which resulted in roughly 500 fatalities. They estimate that road-debris-related accidents have risen 40% since 2001, and most occur on highway interstates.

CalTrans, California’s agency assigned with maintaining roads and bridges, recently spent $62 million to remove approximately 155,000 cubic yards of miscellaneous junk along its roads. Daniel Hill, speaking on behalf of the California Highway Patrol, says that many of the calls they receive about roadway hazards are items that have fallen off of cars, which were improperly loaded or tied down.

Let’s try to stop that.

Preventing Stuff from Falling Off Your Car

If you are moving items with your vehicle, they should be securely tied down, and then covered with netting or a tarp. Objects that are large or heavy must be tied directly to a sturdy part of the car.

Inspect your tires regularly and inflate them to the proper pressure to prevent blowout. Do the same for your other parts: muffler and exhaust components are susceptible to rust and corrosion, which can dislodge them.

Avoiding Road Debris

  • Maintain a view “on the horizon.” Focus on the roadway that you will be approaching 12 seconds ahead to detect objects in the way and allow time to safely avoid the problem.
  • Maintain plenty of space between your car and the ones traveling ahead of you to allow for reaction time.
  • Sometimes, it is better to run over an item than to swerve and create a more dangerous accident with a moving vehicle, guardrail, etc. 37% of fatal collisions involving road debris occur when someone swerves to dodge an object.

Insurance Coverage for Road Debris Damage

Your automobile collision coverage is designed to pay for damage caused by running into an object on the road. Objects that fly though the air and hit your vehicle while parked fall under comprehensive insurance coverage. You will likely have to pay a deductible, and then your insurance covers the balance. Coverage such as personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments (med pay) is used for related injuries.

Consider a “dash cam” for your vehicle. If the car in front of you drops something in your path and your car’s bumper is damaged, the video evidence would allow you to file a claim with that driver’s insurer for coverage.

Vehicle Accident Attorneys in Burlington, MA

Accidents happen every day because of drivers failing to secure objects, using mobile devices, and operating under the influence. The car accident lawyers with DiBella Law Offices, P.C., are advocates for injury victims in Massachusetts. For a free consultation, contact the office at (781) 262-3338.

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Posted in: Car Accidents

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