Many drivers in East Tennessee have likely been traveling down the road and encountered an object in their way at some point or another. Debris in the road is often there because someone failed to properly secure their load. This puts other drivers on the road at risk for being in an accident. Deciding whether to stay in one’s lane or try to swerve around the object is not always an easy choice and both can be dangerous.

In fact, CNN reports that one study found that the problem of debris in the road has increased 40 percent since 2001. During the three-year period from 2011 to 2014, 39,000 people were injured in crashes related to road debris and more than 500 were killed. That means that this issue is likely a greater problem than many people realize.

Objects in the road can be dangerous if a driver hits them. Even if the person escapes injury, their car may suffer costly damage. Crashes can also happen when objects fall off of or out of the back of a vehicle and hit a car traveling behind hit.

According to WATE, trucks in Tennessee must use a tarp to cover an open bed. This also applies to dump trucks. The responsibility of moving objects in the road falls on the Tennessee Department of Transportation. If the DOT knows of a hazard in the road, it can alert drivers using the overhead message boards found on many highways. The DOT also removes debris if it spots it on camera or it is reported by a driver.


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