ROCHESTER, N.Y. – You’ve probably seen some dangerous things scattered across the highway. Maybe you’ve encountered plastic bags or even furniture in the roadway. For obvious reasons, these hazards are dangerous and in some cases, deadly.
According to a new study conducted by the AAA Foundation, debris has been a factor in more than 200,000 crashes on U.S. roadways over the last four years. Researchers said the crashes caused more than 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths since 2011.
A Rochester truck accident lawyer says drivers have to make sure they’re properly securing any load they’re hauling.
“Debris can be some of the most dangerous hazards on the roadway and drivers who fail to secure a load can face severe legal consequences in Rochester,” truck accident attorney Ross Cellino said. “Not only can a driver get a ticket for an unsecured load; they can also be held liable if that debris causes an accident.”
When debris falls off a car or truck, the driver (or the driver’s employer) can be held liable for any damages that debris causes, the Rochester truck accident lawyer said. Commercial drivers are required to inspect their trucks before every trip and examine them for potential hazards.
Some falling debris can cause serious accidents like this one that occurred this summer in Minnesota when a motorcyclist crashed into an item that fell off a boat being towed by an SUV. Luckily, the motorcyclist survived but others aren’t so lucky when they hit debris.
When debris fell off a semitrailer in Northern California this summer, it caused a woman to veer off the road. Hours later, the driver was pronounced dead at the hospital. California Highway Patrol Officers then launched a massive search for the truck driver, who did not remain on scene.
According to AAA, two-thirds of all the crashes that involve highway debris are the result of objects falling off a car or truck and around 37 percent of all deaths in road debris crashes occurred when the driver tried swerving to avoid an object in the roadway.
Safety advocates say swerving is one of the worst things a driver can do, although it’s often reactionary. If possible, drivers should slow down and maintain control of their vehicle, even if that means striking the object in front of them.
Rochester truck accident lawyers say in most cases, the driver responsible for the debris is also responsible for your damages.
With offices across New York State, Cellino & Barnes offers free consultations to those who have been injured by highway debris. For contact information and office locations, find Cellino & Barnes on Best Lawyers.