Accidents happen for all variety of reasons, but what do you do when there’s just a huge sofa in the freeway? From fallen furniture to dropped cargo from semi-trucks, it’s easy for debris to end up on the roadway. So what should you do in these situations? The best you can to avoid road debris, or to manage going over it or to hit it as best as possible.
These accidents can make all the drivers involved feel as though they’re not responsible for the crash. But you can’t hold the driver responsible if they’re long gone. Who knows how long the debris has been on the road.
If you need help with a car crash claim, an experienced Richmond car accident attorney may be able to provide some guidance.
Road Debris Causes More Accidents Than Expected
Market Watch estimated in 2018 that about 50,000 car accidents each year happen because of road debris. Road debris can cause people to lose control of their vehicles, slam on their brakes, or crash into a meridian.
The most extensive accidents can cause fatalities, but most cause minor injuries. What happens when people slam on their brakes or crash into a meridian is that you often have an impact at high-speeds. Injuries will almost always be a part of those situations. When you have single-car accidents, it’s possible that the victim may not be able to get the help they need right away.
There’s typically more risk involved when traveling on roadways at higher speeds. The result is that when cars are traveling at high speeds, they may not even be aware that they’ve lost cargo. Tires are under more stress at higher speeds, and of course, it’s more difficult for a driver to stop because of debris when they’re moving faster.
Tires and Tire Shreds
Tires or shreds of tires are among the most common debris left in highways and roads. The tread of the tire may strip away, and the driver may stop to change a tire further down the road. It may not be possible to pick up debris, and it’s not usually reasonable to contact emergency services for something like this.
Many people can drive over tire shreds with little recourse. However, there’s always the risk that when you drive over something, it could cause damage under the hood and impede the basic functioning of the vehicle. That could cause the motorist to lose control and cause an accident.
Couches, mattresses, children’s outdoor toys, and bumpers are common issues in regard to larger debris. Many of these drivers, again, cannot stop traffic on a busy highway or freeway to pick up the debris. They should, however, contact emergency services to arrange for patrol vehicles to limit traffic while clearing the debris. About one-third of all debris related accidents happen on freeways.
The issue with larger objects is that people panic and justifiably dive into other lanes. This type of debris leads to a lot of side-swipe accidents, but also a lot of single-vehicle accidents. When a driver sees a mattress in the freeway and has to choose between the busy lane to their right or the meridian to their left, they will often choose the meridian.
What Happens in Accidents Cause by Road Debris?
The details of what happens following the crash are difficult to cover. First, every crash that involves debris is a little different. Second, you may be partially at fault for your split-second reaction, which is not fair. Third, the crash resolution might not have anything to do with the debris.
To provide a full example, we’ll start with the scenario of a small sedan pulling out into a shoulder and slowing their speed considerably because of a couch in the road. Then an SUV behind them also sees the couch and dives into the shoulder but hits the sedan. The debris in this situation has nothing to do with the crash resolution. The SUV driver was following too closely, so the debris isn’t the concern at all.
Will You Still Need a Virginia Beach Car Accident Attorney?
Anything from the shred of a tire to a sofa sitting in the middle of the freeway can lead to an accident. But often the aspect evaluated most closely in these situations is not the debris but the action and response of the involved drivers. Someone not being able to stop in time would likely be at-fault for following too closely. While in a different situation, someone might be at-fault for losing control of their vehicle.
Contact Commonwealth Accident Injury Law to get a full guide on how to navigate your car accident. You will have a fully skilled and qualified attorney holding your hand through the resolution of your claim.