CHARLOTTE, N.C. (June 5, 2018) – The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that nationally over 51,000 car crashes are caused by debris on the road every year. Secure Your Load Day is Wednesday, June 6 and AAA Carolinas urges motorists to make load-securing a habit before hitting the road.
“Driving with an unsecured load is dangerous and against the law,” said AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety President Tiffany Wright. “You should secure your load on your vehicle as if the motorists driving behind you are your family and friends.”
The nationally recognized safety day takes place as summer vacation and travel season approaches, but is an important message all year long. It was advocated for and established by Robin Abel, a Washington mother whose daughter was blinded and nearly killed by a board that flew out of a moving trailer, in an effort to raise awareness about road debris crashes and to educate drivers about how to avoid them.
A recent AAA study revealed that about two-thirds of debris-related crashes are the result of unsecured loads and improper vehicle or trailer maintenance.
“Drivers have a much bigger responsibility when it comes to preventing debris on the roads than most realize – both outside the car for the protection of other drivers but also inside the car for the protection of themselves and their passengers,” added Wright.
In North Carolina, drivers face a $100 fine for creating road debris and South Carolinians will be charged with a misdemeanor along with a $100 fine. A full list of U.S. state road debris laws can be found here.
Tips for Securing Vehicle Load:
- Tie down load with rope, netting or straps.
- Tie large objects directly to the vehicle or trailer.
- Cover the entire load with a sturdy tarp or netting.
- Layer your load: put lighter items at the bottom and heavier items on top to help keep them in place, then secure the heavy top items.
- Don’t overload your vehicle (take multiple trips when necessary).
- Always double-check your load for secureness.
Debris related crashes are much more likely to occur on Interstate highways and nearly 37 percent of all deaths in road debris crashes resulted from the driver swerving to avoid hitting an object. Overcorrecting at the last minute to avoid debris can increase a driver’s risk of losing control of the vehicle and make a bad situation worse.
For motorists in a vehicle behind one with a heavy load, do not tailgate or drive too closely behind them. Give your vehicle space to come to a complete stop or safely change lanes in the event that debris falls from the car in front.
AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 2.1 million member and the public with travel, automobile and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.
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