Press Release - 6-4-2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 4, 2021
MOTORISTS WARNED OF DANGERS OF DRIVING WITH UNSECURED CARGO
June 6 is National Secure Your Load Day
As the summer travel season gets underway, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) today reminded motorists to make sure any cargo they are transporting on their vehicles is secure. June 6 is national Secure Your Load Day, when highway safety representatives raise awareness about the dangers of driving with unsecured loads in honor of those whose lives have been lost or impacted by road debris that fell from a vehicle.
“At some point, every driver has seen mattresses sliding off the roof of a car, tarps flying out of the back of a pickup, you name it,” said New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner and GTSC Chair Mark J.F. Schroeder. “All of these things are extremely dangerous and can cause serious crashes if they spring loose. So, please, for the safety of everyone on the road, make it a practice to adequately secure all items you are transporting before you hit the road, and make periodic stops to check that they remain secure.”
Statistics show that unsecured loads are a serious highway safety issue. Between 2011-2014, according to the AAA Foundation for Safety, road debris caused more than 200,000 crashes nationwide, resulting in about 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths. About two-thirds of debris-related crashes are the result of items falling from a vehicle due to improper maintenance and unsecured loads, including unsecured cargo like furniture, appliances and other items.
The Foundation also found 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.
In New York in 2019, according to statistics compiled by the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research (ITSMR), there were 3,398 crashes statewide in which “obstruction/debris” was listed as a contributing factor. Four of those crashes resulted in a fatality, and 505 resulted in personal injury.
In addition to properly maintaining their vehicles, the AAA Foundation for Safety says motorists should reduce their chances of being involved in a road debris crash by making sure all items are secured. To properly secure a load, drivers should: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 make contact with debris, safely reduce your speed as much as possible prior to making contact.
For more information about traffic safety in New York State, visit the GTSC website at https://trafficsafety.ny.gov/.