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Warning from AAA to stay alert for debris on the roads

Posted at 8:08 AM, Aug 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 13:30:54-04
We tend to think about other drivers as being one of the most dangerous things on the road.
 
But AAA wants us to pay better attention to something else - debris. 
 
We've all seen this before, cars or trucks overloaded with furniture, junk and other stuff.
 
Watch as this mattress goes flying off the top of a car.
 
A new report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says debris on the roads was a factor in 500 deaths,
39,000 injuries and more than 200,000 thousand accidents reported to police between 2011 and 2014.
 
Breaking it down even more, two-thirds of the crashes involved things that fell off vehicles and ended up in the
road.
 
Accidents involving debris were four times as likely to happen on a major highway, which in turn, makes them more dangerous because we're driving at higher speeds.
 
More than a third of the deadly accidents happened when the driver swerved to avoid something. 
 
AAA says all 50 states will punish drivers who are found at fault for debris ending up on the road, but the foundation says it shouldn't get to that point.
 
Most of the accidents are preventable.
 
It says it comes down to basic things.
 
Make sure all the parts on our cars are properly maintained and not loose.
 
Secure anything we transport by tying it down and not overloading our cars or trucks.
 
Make sure your tires have good traction in case of a problem and don't tailgate.