When driving about, it is common to see drivers with cargo on top of or sticking out of their vehicles, or even overloaded in pickup trucks. When properly secured, there may be nothing wrong with transporting items in such a manner. However, in Connecticut and elsewhere, there is a problem with road debris, and its presence may contribute to quite a few car accidents.
While carrying bulky or large items in or on one's vehicle may be something that is done only on rare occasions, the driver is responsible for exercising reasonable care when this is done. This simply means that all items need to be properly secured to the vehicle and that warning flags are used if required. In Connecticut, drivers are not permitted to drive on highways unless cargo is secured in ways that prevent it from dropping, leaking, shifting or becoming detached from the vehicles. Fines may be levied against those who fail to properly fasten cargo items.
Unfortunately, accidents do happen due to road debris. The majority of these incidents only result in property damage, but there are those that result in injury or even death. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, approximately 25,000 wrecks occur every year due to road debris. It is believed that these crashes result in 80 to 90 deaths per year, as well as an unspecified number of injuries.
Many drivers may feel that losing items from their vehicles is nothing more than annoying, but the truth is others may be hurt by these items that are usually just left behind on Connecticut roads. Victims of car accidents caused due to road debris may have legal recourse. Civil claims may be filed against the individuals believed responsible for losing their cargo. Through litigation, victims or their surviving family members may be awarded compensation for any damages experienced.
Source: theday.com, "Store cargo safely to avoid contributing to dangerous road debris", Dec. 19, 2015