Road Debris: In the way on the way

Road Debris: In the way on the way

Imagine, you’re driving to a friend’s place, it’s dark, you may have a window cracked, and you suddenly approach a large tree branch in the road. How do you react? Do you slam on your brakes, risking who’s ‚behind you possibly rear-ending you? Do you swerve left into oncoming traffic? Or right and possibly into a ditch?

With only a split second to decide, it makes sense how road debris causes over 25,000 crashes and 80 fatalities per year in North America. (Crash Course in Collision Prevention and Preparation, Now Available | AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety)

And if a static tree branch doesn’t scare you, understand that most road debris actually moves. If other cars on the road drive past or come into contact with road debris, that same object may be moving when get become closer to it‚Äî making it even more difficult to determine what you should do to avoid it. Now, you must not only judge how you should maneuver your vehicle, but how you should maneuver it with respect to another moving object.

The true culprit, however, isn’t always the environment. It’s us! Blown tires, mufflers, bumpers, or cargo like mattresses, firewood, or bicycles that fall off cars are extremely tricky to steer around. Even if you’re an advanced driver, you can never be sure how something is going to bounce. With other cars on the road and distractions you’re already dealing with like a phone or a child, lost cargo can be absolutely fatal.

That being said, we each need to do our part to not contribute to road debris. Here are some things you can try to keep your roads safer:

  • Always uses ropes, straps, and chains to hold down items. Don’t trust the weight of an object or flimsy materials like bungee cords or string.
  • Always anchor your ropes. If you’re going to spend the time tying your cargo down, finish the job correctly by tying a knot on something sturdy.
  • Bowline, Truckers Hitch, and Double Fisherman’s Bend.
  • Try to keep cargo below the top edge of the truck bed
  • Be sure all bags, boxes, and containers are 100% closed
  • Cover loose items

And if you are someone who’s carrying a large assortment of cargo, give them another car length of space. This way you’ll have a bit more time to react should something fly off.

John Bales Auto Accident Attorneys is committed to keeping our roads safe and representing those who have been a victim when it’s not. If your auto accident was caused by someone else’s negligence to properly secure their cargo on the road, we are here for you. Call us at (800) 225-5564 or explore more of our site at