More than 200,000 car accidents – including 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths — were attributed to road debris from 2011 to 2014, according to a new report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Causes included improper road maintenance, unsecured truck loads, faulty tires, and poorly secured or maintained tow trailers. Researchers said ALL of these crashes were preventable.
“Drivers can easily save lives and prevent injuries by securing their loads and taking other simple precautions to prevent items from falling off the vehicle,” said Jurek Grabowski, research director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, in a press release. He also urged drivers to keep their vehicles properly maintained to avoid tire blowouts or rusty mufflers from dropping off. Motorists should avoid tailgating, search the road 12-15 seconds ahead for debris, maintain open space on at least one side to steer around objects, and slow down when objects are unavoidable.
How is liability proved in road debris accidents?
Rear-end collisions and accidents occurring during left-hand turns often have very clear liability. If you slam into the back end of a car or hit someone as you are making a turn, you almost always bear at least some of the liability for what happened. It is common knowledge that drivers must leave sufficient space for safely stopping and always be prepared to stop for any reason. It is also common knowledge to yield right of way to vehicles traveling straight through the intersection. Exceptions can be made in rare circumstances, but the hard facts and evidence assembled become crucial to any case, no matter how cut-and-dry it may seem.
How is fault established in road debris accidents?
To prove fault in a road debris accident, attorneys may:
- Establish that the defendant broke a traffic law. It is illegal in every state to have an item fall off or from your vehicle while it is driving. At least 16 states have made the crime punishable by jail time.
- Use police reports to validate the facts and provide objective analysis. Police reports will include any citations for drugs or alcohol, as well as traffic law violations.
- Assemble the evidence into a compelling argument. Pictures from the accident scene establish who hit who when testimonials conflict. Towing records and repair technician notes substantiate property damage claims. Eye-witnesses not immediately involved in what happened sway judge and jury with impartial recollections.
What persons or entities may be responsible for road debris?
Negligence in road debris lawsuits can extend well beyond the driver. In some cases, defendants include:
- Employers like trucking companies
- Subcontractors like cargo loaders
- Construction contractors
- Auto parts manufacturers, inspectors, or repair technicians
- Municipalities and governments
How Salamati Law Firm can help
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the specialties at the Salamati Law Firm in Los Angeles, California. We’ve represented some of the toughest litigation possible, winning multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts for our clients since 2005. Access to experts and resources is one of the primary benefits in working with an experienced car accident lawyer.
Medical specialists, accident reconstruction experts, and industry experts who are willing to testify on your behalf carry a good deal of weight in court. We make sure all your paperwork is in order and that every piece of recoverable evidence is used to substantiate your injury claim. Call 888-259-4060 for a free no-obligation consultation.
- AAA – American Drivers Aren’t Securing Their Loads http://newsroom.aaa.com/2016/08/american-drivers-arent-securing-loads-road/
- AAA – Road Debris Report http://newsroom.aaa.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/RoadDebris_REPORT_2015.pdf