How Common Is Car Damage from Road Debris?
Gregg Hollander | May 20, 2022 | Car Accidents
When you think of a car accident, you probably picture two cars hitting each other. While this accurately depicts the majority of accidents, it doesn’t represent all of them.
Another common type of accident is one where road debris damages a car. This can result in a multi-car accident, but it counts as a car accident even if it doesn’t.
According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, from 2011 to 2014, there were roughly 50,000 accidents per year in the United States that can be attributed to road debris. About 20% of those accidents resulted in injuries, and approximately 0.25% resulted in deaths.
Compared to the roughly 5 to 6 million accidents that occur every year, road debris accidents are less common and less fatal but still dangerous.
What Is Road Debris?
Road debris is any foreign item that doesn’t belong on the road. In northern climates, this can include packed snow that falls off the top of a roof. Fortunately, that isn’t much of a threat in West Palm Beach.
Common types of road debris in Florida are:
- Broken car parts
- Blown tires
- Animal corpses
- Road construction equipment
- Tree limbs and other natural debris
- Local flooding
- Beach sand
If you hit a larger type of road debris, it can damage the undercarriage or body of your car. Your car can also be damaged if another vehicle causes road debris to fly up and strike a windshield or light.
But direct damage isn’t the only threat. Road debris like sand or liquids can easily cause your car to lose traction, resulting in you hitting another car or careening off the road. Many accidents are also caused by drivers swerving to avoid road debris.
The most frustrating part of road debris accidents is that there is often no way to assign blame. But that isn’t always the case. If local road crews failed to properly clear a hazard off of the road or a property owner failed to secure garbage cans, you might be able to get compensation from the party at fault in your road debris accident.
A West Palm Beach car accident lawyer will be able to tell you whether you are eligible to file a claim or lawsuit or not.
How Do You Avoid a Road Debris Accident in Florida?
The main way to avoid a road debris accident is the same way to avoid any type of car accident: always pay close attention to the road while you are driving. Road debris is slightly harder to be aware of, though, because most road debris is relatively small. A soda can or oil slick can easily blend into the road, even when you are paying attention.
Following traffic laws also helps to avoid road debris accidents. If you are driving the speed limit, you will have more time to react when you notice something dangerous on the road, and you will be less likely to suddenly swerve or brake hard.
Additionally, be aware of dangerous locations. For example, interstate highways are much more likely to have road debris than other types of roads. Loose sand or fallen tree limbs are more likely near swampland. So be especially careful when driving on Route 95 or through the Everglades.
If you have reason to suspect road debris in an area, take another route whenever possible. And if you see road debris, report it to a local non-emergency police number.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in South Florida
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Boca Raton Law Office
7000 W Palmetto Park Rd #500
Boca Raton, FL 33433
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Fort Lauderdale Law Office
200 S.E. 6th Street #203
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – West Palm Beach Law Office
319 Clematis St #203
West Palm Beach, FL 33401