Common Types of Road Debris and How To Avoid It

(Photo: Improperly secured cargo can be extremely hazard to drivers if it because dislodged during transit. We've put together a helpful list of how to identify and avoid dangerous situations caused by debris in the roadway. / “Loading large boxes up the ramp onto removal truck photo” by Sunset Removals is licensed under CC BY 2.0)

Road debris and objects on the road have resulted in collisions and caused the deaths of hundreds of victims and injuring thousands according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Avoiding an accident on the road requires drivers to practice a few safety precautions especially when hauling cargo and furniture.


Debris-related collisions occur more often on busy interstate highways where high-speed driving raises the risk of cargo coming loose and falling off vehicles. This high-speed environment also makes it a challenge for other drivers to avoid hitting fallen objects.

Road debris can take a number of forms. Examples include vehicle parts that have become detached such as wheels and tires, furniture, appliances and tow trailers that have separated from a vehicle.

Avoid creating road debris collisions by: 

  • Regularly service and maintain your vehicle. Worn out tires can result in blowouts and leave tire debris on the road. If part of your vehicle is damaged and in danger of coming loose, have vehicle repair services performed at Spectrum Collision in Irvine.
  • Secure cargo loads properly. If you’re carrying a load, use straps and ropes to secure loads. Don’t overload your vehicle and remember to check again that the load is secure. When securing a load, keep in mind the various turning, twisting and stopping forces that will be exerted in every direction on the load. Just because a load seems secure when sitting still doesn’t mean it will fare well on the freeway.
  • Drivers should also be aware of the consequences of driving with unsecure loads. Drivers face harsh penalties should objects fall off their vehicles whilst in transit such as possible jail time and fines payable.

How to avoid objects in road

Research states that as much as 37 percent of road deaths in road-debris collisions occur as a result of drivers trying to avoid hitting objects in the road. An attempt to overcorrect at the last minute raises the risk of a driver losing control of the vehicle. While road debris presents dangerous driving conditions, there are steps to take to reduce collisions from occurring.

  1. The first step in how to avoid flying debris is to be well prepared. Knowing what is ahead of you at least 12-15 seconds ahead gives you enough time to take necessary action.
  2. Try to keep an open space to one side of your vehicle should the need arise for you to negotiate around road debris.
  3. If the two choices left open to you are to swerve or hit an object, the safer option is to hit the object as there is more risk of losing vehicle control by swerving.

If you do happen to strike an object in the road, visit Spectrum Collision for professional quality repairs. Spectrum Collision is your source in Orange County near Irvine, Fullerton, and Los Angeles County. Visit our body shop today where you’ll find technicians certified to repair high-end luxury brands such as Rolls-Royce, BMW, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Tesla. Visit us today!


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