Every year, Alabama drivers are injured and killed as a result of accidents caused by debris in the roadway. Road debris has serious financial and emotional costs for the family members and friends of those killed in such car crashes. Even those injury victims who survive may have a long, hard, and expensive road to recovery. An Alabama car accident attorney can help injury victims identify the persons responsible for causing a car accident related to road debris.
The Many Costs of Road Debris
The financial costs of road debris can be significant. The Daily Mountain Eagle reports on a truck accident on Interstate 22 near Carbon Hill, in which a tractor trailer crashed into a ravine and killed the driver. The big rig was full of meat products which spilled into the roadway and required extensive cleanup. Twelve hours after the accident, emergency crews were still at the scene, working to clear meat from the road in the sweltering July heat. Such cleanups cost the taxpayers of Alabama significant amounts of money every year.
In other cases, it is only coincidence and luck that prevents a road debris accident from incurring these significant costs. In nearby Florida, a public bus lost its tire, causing it to collide with a pickup truck and crash into a cement median. According to WPBF, the tire had been improperly secured during its installation and came loose during the first drive since the tire was installed. Both the bus driver and pickup driver were injured but are expected to recover. A public transit spokesman called it "remarkable" that no one was killed.
But the losses caused by roadway debris are not just financial. A 19-year-old driver was killed when he swerved to avoid a ladder in the roadway of the Interstate 85. WSFA reports that the driver's father later encountered another ladder on the same stretch of road, not 25 yards from where his son died. The father is convinced that his close call was also a call to action. He intends to make drivers aware of the dangers of roadway debris.
Accepting Personal Responsibility for Preventing Road Debris
Securing vehicle cargo to prevent it from becoming road debris is more than just a smart safety precaution. It is also a legal obligation under Section 32-5-76 of the Code of Alabama. Drivers who fail to properly secure cargo can be fined and get a misdemeanor conviction on their criminal records. Unfortunately, these consequences are not enough for some drivers. The added consequences of a civil lawsuit may provide negligent drivers with the incentive they need to change unsafe driving behaviors. When victims are represented by an Alabama car accident attorney, they have access to theories of liability, sources of compensation, and defendants who might not have been readily apparent. This allows them to fully assert their legal rights.
Ultimately, it is up to all Alabama drivers to accept personal responsibility for safe driving habits. By taking just a few moments to properly secure cargo loads, drivers can make the roads of Alabama safer for everyone.