MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota. Almost every driver has seen it happen at one point or another. You’re driving down the highway and see unsecured junk spilling out of a truck. Or, a small pebble hits your windshield and you hear a loud pop. Road debris poses a real hazard and threat to drivers, with road debris resulting in at least 200,000 accidents reported to police. According to CNN, 500 people are killed and another 39,000 are injured due to road debris. This debris can hit another car’s windshield, shattering it, and harming the person in the driver or passenger’s seat.
Unsecured loads can pose a very real risk to drivers on the road. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, speed can turn even a 20 pound object into an object with the impact force of half a ton. Unsecured furniture, or garbage being carried in the flatbed of a truck, or other unsecured loads can pose a serious risk to other drivers. Many drivers may not be aware of the risk that their unsecured loads and road debris can pose to others.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, all items should be secured when traveling. Placing an object in the back of a flatbed truck is not the same as securing the item. All it takes is a pothole or sudden breaking to eject an item from the flatbed. It is currently illegal in all 50 states to drive with unsecured loads that could endanger others.
There are simple steps drivers can take to ensure that loads are secured. Here are a few:
- Never overload a vehicle or trailer.
- Tie down any large objects.
- Ensure that the entire load is secured with rope or netting.
- Inspect the load to ensure that there is no chance that an object might fall out.
- Think about what might happen to the load if the vehicle encountered a sudden bump.
- Ask yourself if you would feel safe driving behind the load.
If you or a loved one was injured due to road debris or due to an unsecured load, it is important to understand your rights. You may be entitled to crime victims’ compensation funds, and you may also be entitled to receive compensation from the negligent driver to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact the Minneapolis, Minnesota personal injury attorney at the Law Office of Martin T. Montilino.
Sadly, not all drivers are aware of the dangers of travelling with unsecured loads. Some may not even know it is a criminal offense to do so. Tired truckers may not properly secure loads due to fatigue. Drivers without experience carrying large loads may fail to properly secure their cargo. If you’ve been hurt due to road debris or due to another driver’s negligence, you have important rights under the law. Visit https://www.martinmontilino.com/ to learn more about how to protect your rights and seek justice if another trucker or driver’s actions resulted in injury.