An analysis of Florida crash data shows that car accidents caused by road debris are on the rise.
Car accidents have resulted from drivers hitting objects in the road or swerving to avoid them. In some cases, cars have been hit by debris from trucks with unsecured loads.
In 1998, a 13-year-old girl survived a life-threatening car accident involving road debris. The girl was riding in the passenger seat of her mother’s minivan on a Florida highway when a metal construction rod pierced the windshield and pierced her body three centimeters from her heart. Investigators said they believed the rod fell off a truck.
When paramedics arrived at the scene, they decided to drive the van to the hospital with the girl’s body still pierced by the rod. At the hospital, the rod was cut in half so that the teenager could be taken into the emergency room and it could be removed.
After the accident, community leaders worked with legislators to make driving conditions safer. State laws were changed to create road rangers, the *FHP phone line for reporting debris and easier tracing of 911 calls from cell phones.
Road debris, however, continues to be a dangerous problem. An investigation of crash data in two counties in Florida, by NBC 6, found a 60 percent increase in accidents caused by road debris between 2011 and 2015.
When accidents caused by debris, are the result of negligence, injured drivers may be able to obtain compensation from the parties responsible.