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Road debris: A serious risk to drivers

When you're driving, one of the things you need to think about is the potential for road debris. Debris can happen any time, from debris that falls off the back of a truck to a sudden blown tire shredding onto the road.

As a driver, you need to be prepared for sudden debris and know your rights if it flies off another vehicle. In some cases, you can file a claim against a driver if the debris causes damage as a result of him or her not properly securing it.

In around one-third of traffic deaths caused between 2011 and 2014, drivers were swerving to avoid hitting debris on the roads, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Many of these crashes occurred on highways, where crashes are extremely dangerous. The reality is, though, that the majority are preventable. By simply securing loads well, drivers can prevent items from flying out or off vehicles, protecting others from collisions.

Common debris, like branches or blown tires, caused some of the crashes reported, but others included unusual items such as a sofa in the roadway or a boat trailer that became detached. Many states actually make it a crime to have items fall from your vehicle, so it's extremely important to make sure that doesn't happen.

Preventing a crash with debris isn't always possible, but by keeping a distance and scanning the road for debris, you can help protect yourself while you drive. Be defensive when you drive, and remember that you can report an incident when you're hit by debris.

Source: USA Today, "AAA: Road debris causes avoidable crashes, deaths," Bart Jansen, accessed June 06, 2018

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