Cleaning Up Road Debris

Cleaning Up Road Debris

July 26, 2022

Road debris has been a significant cause of accidents in recent years. Whether it’s a piece of metal that’s come loose from a truck or a tree branch that’s been blown into the roadway, debris can pose a serious threat to drivers. Debris is always a dangerous situation on the road, and it must be cleaned up right away. The question then becomes, who takes care of road debris?

Who’s In Charge of Road Debris?

The answer depends on the situation. If the debris is on a state or federal highway, it’s the responsibility of the state or federal government to clean it up. However, if the debris is on a local road, it’s the responsibility of the municipality in which the road is located. In either case, it’s important to report any debris you see so that it can be cleared as quickly as possible.

For traffic collisions, the towing company takes away any debris left on the road and will also take the car away if it cannot be driven. Dead animals generally fall under the jurisdiction of the county or municipality. This includes both domestic and wild animals. 

How Accidents Occur With Road Debris

There are several ways that debris can cause an accident. They include:

  • Hitting the debris: If you hit a large piece of debris, it could do significant damage to your vehicle. It could also cause you to lose control of your car and lead to an accident.
  • Avoiding objects: In some cases, you might see debris in the roadway and swerve to avoid it. This could cause you to lose control of your vehicle and lead to an accident.
  • Debris strikes another vehicle: In some cases, debris might strike another vehicle, causing that driver to lose control. This could cause a multi-vehicle accident.
  • Falling Objects: Many objects can fall from moving trucks or other passenger cars when the items are not properly secured. 

Always drive with caution whenever there is debris on the road. It’s not always easy to identify who should remove debris from the road, as it is complex. If you are in a safe position to remove debris, you can. However, it will generally fall under the responsibility of the local community. Always stop your vehicle if you are unable to navigate through the road safely. Seek an alternative route, or wait until traffic is clear and drive around the obstruction. 

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