By Jim Hanni, Jennifer Haugh of AAA, New AAA Foundation study shows that more than 200,000 crashes are caused by road debris.
As we arrive on another busy moving season AAA wants to be sure you’re securing that load! Whether you’re moving the whole family, the college student or cleaning out the garage and hauling things off, take these precautions to avoid causing trouble on the roadways.
AAA is calling for drivers to properly secure their loads to prevent dangerous debris.
AAA researchers examined common characteristics of crashes involving road debris and found that:
More than 200,000 crashes involved debris on U.S. roadways during the past four years, according to a new study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Road debris has resulted in approximately 39,000 injuries and more than 500 deaths between 2011 and 2014.
About two-thirds of debris-related crashes are the result of items falling from a vehicle due to improper maintenance and unsecured loads. Crashes involving vehicle related-debris increased 40 percent since 2001, when the Foundation first studied the issue. The most common types of vehicle debris are:
Drivers can decrease their chances of being involved in a road debris crash by:
“Continually searching the road at least 12 to 15 seconds ahead can help drivers be prepared in the case of debris,” said William Van Tassel, Manager of Driver Training Programs for AAA. “Always try to maintain open space on at least one side of your vehicle in case you need to steer around an object. If you see you are unable to avoid debris on the roadway, safely reduce your speed as much as possible before making contact.”
AAA also recommends that drivers avoid tailgating and remain alert while on the road. Additional tips on defensive driving and how to report road debris to the proper authorities are available online at AAA.com/PreventRoadDebris.
AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 56 million members nationwide. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.aaa.com.
NATM has had a number of successes in its Government Affairs program over the past several years due in large part to the relationships NATM members have built with their local members of Congress. Through NATM's plant tours, legislative roundtables and Capitol Hill visits, NATM has built an awareness of the trailer manufacturing industry and the impact it has on the various states and legislative districts.
With over 60 new members in Congress, it is crucial that companies in the light- and medium-duty trailer industry continue to build relationships and awareness of the industry with legislators. With many of the new congressional members joining the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, NATM is encouraging both suppliers and trailer manufacturers to schedule virtual plant tours this year. All members of Congress have an impact on the outcome of any legislation, so it is important to recruit advocates that understand and support the trailer industry.
With the highway reauthorization expiring in 2021 and continued pressure for infrastructure investment, it is expected that President Biden and Congress will seek to make bold decisions in the area of transportation, which makes engagement with key decision makers critical. Further, several iterations of the bill in both the House and Senate contemplate additional underride requirements that would be potentially more expansive than existing regulation. All NATM members are encouraged to get involved in the Association’s government affairs outreach, particularly if you see your Member of Congress on the list below.
Historically, plant tours have taken place onsite at member company facilities. As COVID-19 protocols limit visitors, NATM is encouraging members to host virtual plant tours online for 2021.
For those companies interested in engaging, NATM has template invite letters and other resources to make the process easier. NATM’s government affairs group K&L Gates will contact the congressional offices and schedule the event once the company completes the template invitation letter. The Association will provide a suggested tour outline and talking points. With the switch to virtual, the plant tours will take place on a Zoom call and feature a slide deck of photos of the facility and/or a pre-taped video walk through.
If your business is represented by a new legislator, listed below, or sits on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (Committee list here), NATM highly encourages you to host your representative for a virtual plant tour.
If you are interested in hosting a plant visit, contact Assistant Director Meghan Ryan at Meghan.Ryan@natm.com or call NATM Headquarters at (785) 272-4433. If your business is represented by a new legislator, listed below, or sits on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (Committee list here), NATM highly encourages you to host your representative for a virtual plant tour.
In the trailer manufacturing industry, a successful business is dependent upon an educated, highly skilled workforce; however, it is becoming a challenge to retain this type of worker. That’s why NATM wants to feature members who have overcome this challenge to successfully obtain a skilled workforce.
NATM is looking to collect information regarding the workforce challenge your company faced, how you successfully navigated said challenge, and any advice you might have for those in the industry with similar obstacles. Combating Workforce Issues social posts will feature your company’s story, tagged social media profile, as well as a photo related to the story being discussed.
Photos and stories can be submitted here: www.natm.com/get_social.