Road hazards are a subject that has been discussed often on this site, as such road hazards are potentially dangerous for motorists. One reason for this danger is that road hazards are often unexpected, and there can be little if no advanced warning as to their presence. Road hazards can take many forms, including foreign items that are sitting on the roadway, or items have fallen off of other vehicles. These various road hazards have caused or contributed to many Illinois crashes. As seen in various posts on this site, recent road hazards in Will County have included such things as (very) large potholes, holes in bridge decks, and dislodged pavement markers. The subject of Will County road hazards is more thoroughly discussed on the “Will County Road Hazards” page.
On August 11, 2016, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released findings from a research report titled “The Prevalence Of Motor Vehicle Crashes Involving Road Debris, United States, 2011-2014.” The report highlights the incidence of accidents caused by road hazards. The report factors in crashes by vehicles including cars, pickup trucks, vans, minivans, and SUVs. The report highlights the extent of road hazards causing accidents, particularly those on highways.
As stated in the report’s Fact Sheet:
Between 2011-2014, road debris was a factor in a total of more than 200,000 police-reported crashes
Resulted in a total of approximately 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths
The Fact Sheet defines road hazards as:
Road debris is defined in the current study as debris from any source, including by not limited to vehicles, that can pose a significant safety hazard (animals in the road, trees that fell onto vehicles, debris caused by a previous crash, and construction-related materials in active work zones were not counted as debris)
Also, the fact sheet mentions that:
About two-thirds of debris-related crashes are the result of items falling from a vehicle due to improper maintenance and unsecured loads.
The report is also discussed in the August 11, 2016 abcnews.com article (with video) titled “New Study Shows Risks of Road Debris in Highway Crashes.” The video in the article shows various accidents caused by road hazards, including a car wheel or car tire bouncing down a highway and into the windshield of oncoming vehicle.
Additional details regarding the hazards caused by road hazards can be seen in the sources mentioned above.