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National Secure Your Load Day brings awareness to road debris crashes

Wed, Jun 6th 2018 12:30 pm
By AAA of Western and Central New York
Wednesday, June 6, is National Secure Your Load Day. The effort was established by Robin Abel, a traffic safety advocate whose daughter was severely injured in a debris-related crash, to help raise awareness about road debris crashes and to educate drivers about the importance of properly securing their load. For the past several years, AAA has been an active supporter of this important effort.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a study in 2016 on the dangers of road debris. From 2012-16, more than 200,000 crashes involved debris on U.S. roadways. Road debris resulted in approximately 39,000 injuries and more than 500 deaths between 2011-14. AAA is calling for drivers to properly secure their loads to prevent dangerous debris.
In the 2016 study, AAA researchers examined common characteristics of crashes involving road debris and found the following:
•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.
•More than one in three crashes involving debris occurred between 10 a.m. and 3:59 p.m., a time when many people are on the road hauling or moving heavy items like furniture or construction equipment.
•Debris-related crashes are much more likely to occur on interstate highways. Driving at high speeds increases the risk for vehicle parts to become detached or cargo to fall onto the roadway.
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.
The most common types of vehicle debris are:
•Parts becoming detached from a vehicle (tires, wheels, etc.) and falling onto the roadway.
•Unsecured cargo like furniture, appliances and other items falling onto the roadway.
•Tow trailers becoming separated and hitting another vehicle or landing on the roadway.
In New York, a crash involving road debris is a misdemeanor, carrying a fine of up to $750 and/or 30 days in prison (dependent of number of incidents).
As upstate New York's largest member services organization, AAA provides more than 870,000 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.

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