One person in Powhatan Point was recently injured and State Route 7 was shut down following an accident. The accident occurred after a tractor-trailer collided with a bridge. A beam subsequently fell onto a vehicle that was stopped at a red light. As a result, the driver of the vehicle was trapped inside. Fortunately, the truck driver called law enforcement. First responders later worked to move the beam and help the driver escape the vehicle. The driver was in turn transported to a nearby medical facility with serious injuries. To make matters worse, this accident does not mark the first time that an oversized load knocked a beam loose.
Statistics reveal that debris on Ohio’s highway results in approximately 20 highway fatalities each year and five times as many serious injuries. The Ohio Department of Transportation even reports that from 2012 to 2016 there were more than 18,7000 accidents on state roads caused by debris. As in this opening example, many debris accidents are linked to vehicles with unsecured loads.
Ways to Avoid Debris-Related Accidents
Many drivers have the instinct to avoid debris, but swerving can actually result in more damage to a person’s vehicle. Instead, there are several helpful strategies that drivers should follow to avoid colliding with debris:
- Stay focused on driving and eliminate distractions. Try to search the road approximately 12 to 15 seconds ahead for debris.
- Avoid tailgating or following too close to other vehicles on the road. Instead, you should maintain at least several seconds of following distance. This way you are more likely to notice potential obstacles that might arise in the road.
- Stay aware of your surroundings. Drivers should maintain open space at the front and at least one side of the vehicle at all times.
- Avoid traveling behind dump trucks or other similar motor vehicles, particularly if you see a load that is falling out of the truck. Drivers can either pass, slow down, or move into another lane to avoid traveling near these vehicles.
What to do if Debris Strikes Your Vehicle
Unfortunately, no matter what safety strategies drivers follow, there is still a risk that drivers might end up in an accident involving debris. In case you are hit by falling debris, there are several important steps that you should take:
- Contact law enforcement. If you cannot escape your vehicle, call them immediately. If you can escape your vehicle and it is safe to do so, you should get out of the vehicle and to a safe spot before making the call.
- If it is possible to do so, move the vehicle to a safe spot.
- If you were not seriously injured in the accident, attempt to collect evidence about how the accident occurred.
Speak with an Experienced Accident Attorney
Debris is just one of the many factors known to cause accidents on Ohio’s roads. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident and another party is responsible, call me now 877.944.4373. During your free case evaluation, I will outline your various options to pursue compensation. I understand just how devastating Ohio car accidents can be, which is why I am committed to each and every case… and I’ll Make Them Pay!®.