Families with students returning from college urged to take caution
Editorial by AAA Western and Central New York
As families bring college students home for the summer, they should be on the lookout for road debris and they should take steps to secure their load.
A 2016 study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety discovered road debris resulted in approximately 39,000 injuries and more than 500 deaths between 2011-14. The study revealed more than 200,000 crashes involving debris on U.S. roadways over those four years. AAA is calling for drivers to properly secure their loads to prevent dangerous debris.
Nearly 37 percent of all deaths in road debris crashes resulted from the driver swerving to avoid hitting an object. Overcorrecting at the last minute to avoid debris can increase a driver's risk of losing control of their vehicle. Debris-related crashes are much more likely to occur on Interstate highways.
"Road debris can be extremely dangerous," said Tony Spada, president and CEO of AAA Western and Central New York. "We urge parents to secure their loads and taking other simple precautions to prevent items from falling off the vehicle. Simple measures can save lives and prevent injuries."
About two-thirds of debris-related crashes are the result of items falling from a vehicle due to improper maintenance and unsecured loads. Crashes involving vehicle-related debris increased 40 percent since 2001, when the foundation first studied the issue.
Tips for Securing Vehicle Loads
When moving or towing furniture, it is important to make sure all items are secured. To properly secure a load, drivers should:
There's a better way to move your items. AAA members save up to 20 percent with Penske when reserving one-way truck rentals online. As AAA's exclusive truck rental partner, Penske offers AAA members discounts on truck rentals and moving supplies.
AAA also recommends drivers avoid tailgating and remain alert while on the road. Additional tips on defensive driving and how to report road debris to the proper authorities are available online at AAA.com/PreventRoadDebris.
As upstate New York's largest member services organization, AAA provides nearly 860,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.