Road Debris Causes 25,000 Auto Crashes Each Year

Police are asking for help identifying this pickup truck with an unsecured mattress that caused a fatal crash

Unsecured loads and loose vehicular parts leads to 80 to 90 traffic deaths per year

We’ve all had the unnerving experience of encountering road debris that requires us to slow down or swerve. I almost hit a tire retread yesterday on I-30. In some cases avoiding the item is impossible.

Sadly, road debris was responsible for the recent death of a Dallas motorcyclist. Doug Johnson was riding on westbound I-30 near the Ridge Road exit when he hit a mattress lying in the middle of the road. The 73 year-old man lost control of his bike and hit a light pole.

The mattress had flown out of the bed of a red Ford F-150 traveling in the center lane just moments earlier. Witnesses said that the pickup truck driver pulled over to the side of the road to secure the rest of the load, then continued on. Unfortunately, police have not been able to locate the truck or the driver.

This tragic crash was entirely preventable — and all too common.

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that road debris causes more than 25,000 wrecks every year that result in 80 to 90 deaths. This includes vehicle parts and unsecured cargo, like the mattress in the Dallas motorcycle crash.

In addition to the dangers of leaving road debris, unsecured items can hit the car behind. Even a small item lying loose in the back of the truck can fly out, shatter a windshield, and lead to a crash.

Securing load in pickup truck bed

If hauling goods in the bed of your pickup truck, make sure to properly secure it. The Family Handyman offers great advice on how to secure a load and what equipment you need.

The website warns readers not to be casual about small loads. You may be moving a few small items to a location only a short drive away, but you still need to take appropriate precautions.

Reporting road debris

If an item falls out of your truck or you see road debris, report it immediately. The national hotline for reporting dangerous road conditions, including road debris, is 800-525-5555. The operator passes the information to the local police agency.

If you have wireless service through ALLTEL, Nextel, AT&T, Cingular, Verizon, Sprint, US Cellular or T-Mobile, you can also dial *DPS (*377) to report a non-emergency situation in Texas.

Recovering for crash caused by road debris

If road debris caused your Dallas-Fort Worth crash, my law firm can help you recover. We investigate who was responsible for the road debris and pursue the driver for negligence. We have handled cases involving various truck and auto components, property, and boxes on the road.

Sometimes the driver is unidentifiable, in which case we obtain compensation under your insurance policy. To recover the damages you deserve for your injuries and vehicular repairs, we counter the insurance company’s argument that road debris is not covered or was avoidable.

Please contact us if you have been injured in a car accident in North Texas. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

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