Study: Roadway Debris Causes 200,000+ Car Crashes | Ellis Injury Law

Study: Roadway Debris Causes 200,000+ Car Crashes

September 19, 2016

Ellis Law Corporation


The majority of car accidents are caused by negligent and reckless drivers, including those who are driving while distracted or impaired by drugs or alcohol.

However, a large percentage of accidents are blamed on roadway debris. A recent study conducted by AAA sought to determine just how many crashes are caused by debris and how deadly those accidents are.

Road debris study

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety examined crash data throughout the U.S. from 2011 to 2014 and identified more than 200,000 accidents caused by roadway debris. Of those accidents, about 500 deaths and about 39,000 injuries were reported. Roadway debris is obviously dangerous because of the risk of tire blowouts and windshield penetration. However, more than one-third of the accidents occurred when the driver swerved out of the way to avoid debris falling from the forward vehicle. Unsecured cargo, including furniture and appliances, comprised a significant percentage of the falling debris. However, debris also consisted of vehicle parts such as tires breaking free of the forward vehicle. Tow trailers that became loose and broke free were also a major contributor to the crashes.

Earlier in August 2016, Jurek Grabowski, the research director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, issued a press release to outline the troubling findings. “This new report shows that road debris can be extremely dangerous but all of these crashes are preventable. Drivers can easily save lives and prevent injuries by securing their loads and taking other simple precautions to prevent items from falling off the vehicle.”

Liability issues in road debris accidents

Car accident lawsuits hinge upon determining liability or fault. In the case of road debris crashes, determining liability can be especially challenging, which is why seeking out advice from a personal injury lawyer is crucial. Mere seconds after debris falls off a vehicle, it can become nearly impossible to determine exactly which vehicle and driver were responsible.

Victims may sometimes be able to memorize full or partial license plates, which can aid the police in tracking down the responsible party. It’s also possible that one or more eyewitnesses will step forward or that the area is under surveillance by traffic cameras. In some cases, the offending party might not actually be another driver, but rather the government entity responsible for maintaining the section of roadway.

In order to establish and prove liability for a road debris accident, it’s essential for victims to get in touch with a personal injury attorney that has extensive investigative resources at its disposal.

Ellis Law secures multi-million dollar verdicts & settlements

As a top-rated personal injury law firm, Ellis Law has long been known for our successes in and out of the courtroom. We’ve secured more than $350 million for our clients in just the last five years alone and we’ve been winning cases for more than 20 years.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a road debris accident or any other type of collision, you can turn to us for a free case review, legal guidance, and answers to your questions. Call 310-641-3335 today to request your no-obligation consultation with trusted Los Angeles car accident lawyers.