Debris in the road or from an unsecured load falling off another vehicle is a roadway hazard. In fact, a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found 39,000 injuries and more than 500 deaths from those incidents between 2011 and 2014.
Dangerous debris was responsible for more than 200,000 crashes on U.S. roadways over that time period.
Anything from wooden or metal objects to a mattress poorly secured on top of a vehicle can lead to a fatality if it flies off and into another motorist's windshield.
Fleet drivers need to be aware of this common occurrence and take steps to safeguard against falling and flying debris. Experts suggest the following tactics for drivers:
Increase Following Distance
Always keep ample space between your vehicle and the one in front of you, but especially if it is a pickup or semi with objects loaded in or on it.
Awareness of Adjacent Lanes
It's a wise idea to also stay aware of vehicles in the lanes adjacent to you. Whenever possible, keep open areas around your vehicle in the event you need to quickly change lanes if an object falls into the road directly in front of you.
Be Even More Vigilant in Winter
Remember that large sheets of ice can also suddenly fall off the top of another vehicle. So be extra cautious in the wintertime.
Maintain Your Own Vehicle
Maintain your vehicle so loose pieces of it don't come off on the road. In the event you need to haul objects, be sure to properly secure them at all times.
To learn more, watch the video here.