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Back-to-school is in the air; road debris shouldn't be

Back-to-school is in the air; road debris shouldn't be

"I miss being a wife," says a now single mom who lost her husband to a preventable car accident about a decade ago. No, his accident wasn't caused by drunk driving. He wasn't a victim of distracted driving, either. The husband and father died when debris fell out of another vehicle, he tried to avoid the debris and crashed with another car.

Now is a crucial time of year to discuss the danger of debris on the roadways. Minnesota parents are probably getting ready to move their kids to college. It can feel like an accomplishment to pack as much stuff as possible in a trailer or truck bed, but the quality of the packing must be a priority.

For the sake of traffic safety, motorists must be more concerned about how well-secured items are while in transit versus how much stuff they can get from point A to point B. Every year, people are injured and even die because items fly out of vehicles and become hazardous debris on the roads.

According to AAA, more than 200,000 U.S. crashes were caused by road debris between 2011 and 2014. Most of those accidents reportedly could have been prevented if motorists had done a better job while securing the cargo they were carrying. Someone might look at an item they are packing and think, "Oh it is just a lamp. If it gets dinged up or lost, no big deal." But something as small as a lamp can essentially become a deadly missile to a motorist behind your vehicle.

Securing cargo isn't about protecting one's stuff; it is about traffic safety and saving lives.

Car accidents are caused for various reasons. Crashes due to flying debris are not as commonly discussed as drunk driving accidents or texting and driving, but they are a traffic safety threat that needs to be addressed, particularly with students heading back to college soon.

Hopefully, you won't have to address the matter because you've been injured in a roadway debris crash. If you were injured because of someone's negligence in packing their vehicle or due to another form of carelessness, a personal injury attorney can discuss with you your options.


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