Press Release - 06-06-2022
GOVERNOR’S TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMITTEE REMINDS MOTORISTS
OF IMPORTANCE OF PROPERLY SECURING CARGO
June 6 is National Secure Your Load Day
As the summer travel season begins, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) today reminded motorists to make sure any cargo they are transporting on their vehicles is properly secured. June 6 is national Secure Your Load Day, when highway safety representatives raise awareness about the dangers of driving with unsecured items, in honor of those whose lives have been lost or impacted by road debris that fell from a vehicle.
Data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that there were 715 deaths, 16,595 injuries and 82,479 property damage crashes nationwide in 2020 caused by unsecured loads and road debris.
“Drivers know how scary and dangerous it can be when something flies off the vehicle in front of them,” said New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner and GTSC Chair Mark J.F. Schroeder. “No matter what you are hauling or how short your trip is, it is so important to take the time to make sure everything is properly secured.”
In New York in 2020, according to statistics compiled by the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research (ITSMR), there were 2,969 crashes statewide in which “obstruction/debris” was listed as a contributing factor. Seven of those crashes resulted in a fatality, and 430 resulted in personal injury.
The AAA Foundation for Safety also found in studying crashes between 2014 to 2018 that debris-related crashes were about four times as likely to occur on Interstate highways, compared to crashes that do not involve debris, and nearly 37 percent of all deaths in road debris crashes resulted from the driver swerving to avoid hitting an object.
The AAA Foundation for Safety says motorists can reduce their chances of being involved in a road debris crash by making sure all items are secured and their vehicle is properly maintained. Tips to make sure your items are secured include:
- Tie down the load with rope, netting or straps
- Tie large objects directly to the vehicle or trailer
- Cover the entire load with a sturdy tarp or netting
- Don’t overload the vehicle
- Always double check load to make sure it is secure
The Foundation also recommends driving defensively. Avoid tailgating and continually search the road ahead for debris. If you see you are about to hit debris, safely reduce your speed as much as possible prior to making contact.
For more information about GTSC and traffic safety in New York State, visit https://trafficsafety.ny.gov/, or follow the GTSC on Facebook and Twitter.