WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Automobile Association’s Foundation for Traffic Safety has released a report suggesting more than 612 Canadian accidents were caused by road debris in 2001.
Even more shocking was that the association blamed more than 25,000 highway accidents in the U.S. during the same year on road debris. Everything from a gator, to a garbage bag to an errant piece of metal has the potential to cause a serious accident, the association warns.
“Although vehicle-related road debris crashes are generally less severe than other crashes, individual incidents can be catastrophic,” foundation president Peter Kissinger said in the report. “Many of the crashes can be prevented if truckers and motorists secure their loads properly and report debris that they encounter on the road.”
The report says even the smallest objects pose a threat as drivers will often lose control of their vehicles while trying to avoid the objects. A survey suggested the most common types of road debris in the U.S. and Canada include: tire treads; garbage from waste haulers; lumber and construction materials; gravel; soil and tree limbs; mufflers and exhaust parts.
The association is now calling for better training for drivers and enforcement officers as well as stiffer penalties for those who don’t properly secure their loads.
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