It seems like he have been getting more and more damaged RV’s in our shop every year that have damage due to blow outs or damage to the wheel wells and cargo area from hitting some type of debris in the road. And now we know why. This week the AAA released the results of a new study citing a 40% increase in road debris related crashes since 2001 when it began tracking these statistics.
Now these road debris related incidents only track crashes that have resulted from road debris. In other words a police report had to be filed, or in 500 tragic incidents, a fatality occurred. Those fatalities typically are a result of a driver loosing control of their vehicle in an attempt to avoid a collision with the object in the road.
What is not recorded and is likely a staggeringly higher figure are the types of damages we see in our shop, here at Coach Specialists of Texas, every single month.
The maneuverability of an RV is not at all like a car or light truck. So when a foreign object is in your path, your options for avoiding a collision could be a lot more limited. Often, drivers of RV’s are simply forced to run over it f t is small enough to clear the bumper of chassis. But what happens next is what can send your RV to the shop, the object gets flung into the wheel wells possibly damaging a tire or destroying the wheel well and storage compartments adjacent to the axle.
It happens, daily, things fall off of cars, fly out the backs of trucks and blow into oncoming traffic in the road. This week the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety discovered that vehicle crashes involving debris are up 40 percent since the group first started recording and tracking this data in 2001.
What the AAA study found was road debris was the underlying cause of more than 200,000 crashes on U.S. roads between 2011 and 2014, resulting in about 39,000 injuries and more than 500 deaths.
The startling data also shows that nearly 37 percent of all deaths in road debris-related crashes occur when a driver swerves to avoid hitting an object. This is because drivers loose control of their vehicles leading to the nearly 40% chance of fatality the study found.
Deadliest time of day
Between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM, the middle of the day, is when over a third of the crashes occur. Researches suggest that this window of time is when most people are hauling or moving heavy items such as furniture or construction materials and equipment.
Highway speeds, traffic congestion and the high volume of materials being transported are the perfect recipe for a collision with road.
The preventable causes
Two thirds of all road debris crashes are caused by improper maintenance or improperly secured loads.
The most common types of vehicle debris are: parts, such as tires, or tire parts from blowout, unsecured cargo, such as furniture and appliances. Another contributing factor is wen trailers de-couple for the tow vehicle, a result of improper trailer connections.
So how do you decrease your chances of having your RV become involved in a road-debris crash?
AAA has three recommendations:
1. Maintain Your RV. For example, badly worn or underinflated tires can blowout, leaving tire pieces on roadways. Rusted exhaust systems and hardware can cause mufflers and other parts to drag or break loose.
2. Secure Vehicle Loads. To properly secure a load, drivers should use rope, netting or straps. When possible cover the load with a tarp. Overloading the tow vehicle or the trailer can be problematic, especially for RV’s.
3. Defensive Driving- Try to maintain space on at least one side of your vehicle in the event you need to steer around the object; scan at least 12 to 15 seconds ahead; and avoid tailgating.
The penalty of road debris
Currently, every state has laws that make it illegal for items to fall from a vehicle while on the road with penalties ranging from $10 – $5,000 with at least 16 states listing jail as a possible punishment for offenders.
Have some collision repair damage from road debris that you need to have repaired? Click below to get your free estimate: