A truck driver was recently killed in a collision in Grady County when he swerved to avoid road debris, then lost control of his vehicle. Dual rear tires flew off of a different vehicle traveling the opposite direction as the truck driver. As he swerved to avoid the tires, he went off the road and lost control of his tractor trailer, which flipped over. He was wearing a seatbelt, but was pinned and partially ejected from the cabin during the roll, and was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, according to Oklahoma 4 News. Road debris itself may not cause a collision, but the act of swerving to avoid it is certainly a great hazard for everyone on the road.
Road Debris Causes Serious Collisions on Highways
According to a study by AAA, over the span of four years (from 2011 to 2014) road debris caused over 200,000 traffic collisions, 39,000 injuries, and 500 fatalities, as reported by USA Today. Over one third of the deaths were a result of a driver swerving to hit the debris, while in other circumstances vehicles would hit the debris then hit another vehicle, which would cause a chain reaction of crashes. Factors that can worsen the outcome of such debris crashes include:
- Larger objects, which are more hazardous than small debris, were typically found on interstate highways, where one third of the crashes occurred;
- Heavy traffic, where more cars have to avoid the object and have less time to see it up the road; and
- Distracted drivers, speeding, and aggressive driving.
It's also important to note that bad weather and darkness did not increase the chances of a debris crash, as only one in seven debris crashes occurred during poor weather and the vast majority of crashes occurred during daylight.
Who Should be Held Liable for Your Damages?
When you get injured in a debris crash, there may be a few different parties to look at when it comes to liability. First of all, if you saw the debris fall off of someone's vehicle, that person should be held liable. Whether they stopped or not is another matter. If you were struck by another vehicle that either hit the debris or swerved into you in an attempt to avoid hitting the debris, that party could also be held liable depending on the circumstances. Finally, if you struck debris such as a boulder or large pothole in the middle of the road that the Oklahoma Department of Transportation knew about or should have known about, there is a possibility of seeking damages from the state.
Call a Lawyer Now
If you were injured in an auto crash that was caused by fallen debris, you need to talk to an experienced Tulsa attorney at once. We urge you to call the law offices of Frasier, Frasier & Hickman, LLP today to set up a free consultation.