The roads in South Dakota can be hazardous at the best of times. However, vehicles with unsecured loads present a heightened risk of collision.
It is estimated that unsecured loads cause thousands of accidents and injuries per year, as well as hundreds of fatalities. Cargo items that get loose can obstruct a driver’s vision by cutting off their view in their mirrors. Worse, unsecured objects might fall into the path of another road user, leading to a collision.
How do you protect yourself from such unsafe problems? Outlined below are some key methods that could help protect you from unsecured loads:
Keep a safe distance
Drivers should always maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them. However, this is even more pivotal when considering cargo vehicles. Allowing a safe distance may give you more time to react if items fall into your path.
Be aware of vehicles in adjacent lanes
Being completely aware of your surroundings, including adjacent lanes, could protect you. Allowing yourself to become boxed in could potentially be dangerous. Always leave yourself a route of escape in case cargo becomes dislodged from a vehicle in an adjacent lane.
Maintain your own vehicle
Remember, your vehicle can also create a risk because of unsecured cargo. Loose parts from your car could become dislodged and fall into the path of other road users. Furthermore, you may have loaded your vehicle with items that could become unsafe if not secured properly.
The liability for accidents caused by road debris can vary. Understanding the common ways in which these accidents are caused could help ensure your safety. Furthermore, if you are involved in a collision stemming from unsecured cargo, it is important to know your legal rights and protections.