As drivers from Illinois and beyond can tell you, finding yourself in traffic behind a car or truck that has a precariously perched or loose load can be a harrowing experience. Whether you’re tailing an open trailer hauling debris, a big rig carrying loose lumber, or Honda with a mattress shifting around on the roof, it is obvious that you need to put distance between yourself and that vehicle as soon as possible.
Much ink is dedicated to stories and statistics involving either drunk driving or distracted driving. This is justified as both of those hazards are responsible for many of the car accidents that happen on our roadways. But often overlooked is the potential for extreme damage and injury that can occur when objects fall from moving vehicles and onto the road, or even onto other vehicles.
In terms of numbers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives an estimation that in 2010, around 51,000 crashes could be attributed to vehicles being struck by objects which fell off other vehicles or to vehicles hitting road debris. These accidents accounted for almost 10,000 injuries and 440 confirmed deaths.
Car accidents which are caused by loose objects can prove not only damaging, but also problematic. It is possible for the driver of a vehicle with a loose load to be totally unaware of the potential danger they are presenting to those around them. Furniture and other objects strewn on the road and shoulders can stand as a demonstration that a driver could lose a pretty big chunk of cargo and not notice, or worse not care.
If an object from another vehicle falls on your car and causes damage or injury, you need to be sure to get all the details you can about that vehicle. Hopefully the driver will not leave the scene. However, if they do leave, try to get the license plate number any other helpful descriptive information. Get contact information from anyone who was on the scene and witnessed the event. Call your insurance company and then call an attorney.
An Illinois attorney may be able to assist you in conducting a full investigation and working with insurance companies to see you get your due compensation for any damage or pain and suffering you incur from the accident.
Source: telgram.com, “Poorly secured cargo, road debris add to driving hazards,” Susan Spencer, June 30, 2014