Can Road Debris Cause Car Accidents?

March 1, 2024
Our Chester County Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Represents Victims of Road Debris Car Accidents

According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a significant number of car accidents are caused by debris on the road. In fact, over four years, road debris was a factor in over 200,000 car accidents, which resulted in approximately 500 fatalities and 39,000 injuries. Road debris can range from rocks and stones to broken glass or pieces of rubber from a tire blowout. In most cases, road debris-related car accidents are caused by unsecured items falling off a car or a truck. That means most car accidents caused by road debris are preventable if motorists take the necessary steps to maintain the vehicle and ensure the cargo is loaded correctly and secured.

Depending on the circumstances of the accident, there are a range of parties who may be liable for a road debris accident, including the following:

  • The driver or owner of the vehicle: If the other motorist involved in the accident failed to maintain their vehicle, which resulted in a tire blowout accident, or they failed to secure their cargo, which caused items to fall off the vehicle and onto the road, they will likely be liable for a resulting car accident. You will need to prove that the driver was negligent to recover financial compensation. You may also be able to file a claim against a driver who hit your car after swerving to avoid the debris in the road.
  • Trucking company or other businesses: Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring that their trucks are inspected and maintained regularly. This includes ensuring that the cargo that is being transported is properly loaded and secured. The trucking or loading company might be liable if the cargo comes loose and falls onto the road, causing an accident.
  • Construction company: If a construction company fails to remove debris from a construction zone, fails to warn motorists about potential hazards, or does not divert motorists appropriately, they may be liable for a car accident that is caused by road debris.
  • Government agencies: State or municipal government agencies are responsible for road maintenance, including repairing potholes, ensuring that construction zones are safe, and clearing away any ice, snow, or debris on roads or highways that could cause hazardous driving conditions. While the government agency responsible for road maintenance may be liable for a car accident resulting from road debris, you will need to meet specific requirements when making a claim. In addition, there are situations where the government may have immunity from these types of lawsuits. Therefore, having an experienced car accident lawyer on your side is recommended.

What Are the Common Causes of Road Debris Car Accidents?

There are a number of scenarios that can increase the risk of a serious road debris car accident. The following are some of the most common causes:

  • Unsecured loads
  • Poor road maintenance
  • Road construction
  • Lack of vehicle maintenance

What Are the Most Common Types of Road Debris?

Any type of object or debris that has been left on the road – either intentionally or unintentionally – can create hazardous road conditions. The following are some of the most common types of road debris that can increase the risk of a potentially serious car accident:

  • Rocks and stones
  • Broken glass
  • Tires of pieces of blown-out tires
  • Trees and broken branches
  • Trash or litter
  • Fallen light or telephone poles
  • Construction equipment
  • Pieces of metal
  • Large, unsecured objects, including furniture or appliances
  • Trash or litter
  • Traffic cones

Our Chester County Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Represents Victims of Road Debris Car Accidents

If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a car accident that was caused by road debris, do not hesitate to contact our Chester County car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. To schedule a consultation, call us today at 610-565-3701 or contact us online. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.