According to a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, around 25,000 collisions occur in the United States each year as a result of debris on the road. Accidents caused by debris cause anywhere from 80 to 90 deaths annually on average, and cause a significant number of property damage only crashes or collisions where injuries happen. Road debris can come from a lot of different sources, but debris commonly ends up falling off of or out of trucks or other vehicles.
Truck drivers are obliged to follow cargo-loading rules set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and truckers and their employers can be held responsible when unsecured or unbalanced cargo causes a car crash to happen. These professional drivers, however, are not the only ones with safety obligations when it comes to securing cargo. An Atlanta car accident attorney can provide assistance to victims involved in accidents caused by debris on the roadways, even if the debris was left by a regular driver. If you can prove negligence led to the debris that caused your crash, you should be entitled to compensation for all resulting economic and non-financial losses.
Responsibility for Atlanta Car Accidents Due to Improperly Secured Cargo
Every driver who transports items is responsible for making sure the items are secured, no matter what the items are. Regardless of whether a driver is transporting a Christmas tree on top of a vehicle, furniture in the back of a pickup truck, or any other items, the driver must follow basic safety precautions to ensure the items he’s transporting don’t cause harm to others. This means not only making sure items are tied down and secured so they don’t blow off the vehicle, but also making sure roof rack weight limits and vehicle weight limits are followed. A car that is too overloaded could have problems like a tire blowout, which also can cause crash risks.
When a driver fails in the obligation to secure items that are being transported, the driver’s items can fall off the vehicle, landing on the road and becoming a part of the road debris that other motorists must navigate around. If something falls off and the driver behind can’t get around it without causing a crash, the driver whose item fell from the vehicle could potentially be held liable for any resulting collision.
TheDay also warns there are other possible causes of crashes from unsecured cargo as well, including items falling off vehicles and obstructing the vision of drivers behind them or drivers colliding with cars or motorists who have stopped to pick up the fallen items.
Regardless of exactly what scenario occurs that causes an accident, the bottom line is items coming off of vehicles- whether they are trucks or personal cars- can present an unacceptable hazard. An experienced attorney can help those who are hurt by improperly secured cargo to pursue a claim for compensation for all resulting losses.