Spring cleaning has hit North Carolina roads as both the State Highway Patrol and North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) team up for the annual Spring Litter Sweep. The campaign runs from April 16th through April 30th. Drivers and/or passengers who throw litter out their vehicles, as well as those commuters who fail to properly secure loads they are hauling, will face hefty fines if caught by troopers.
Littering on North Carolina roads is an expensive problem. Last year, the NCDOT spent over $15 million to clean up almost 7.5 million pounds of road trash. Statistics find that 40 percent of deliberate littering is caused by motorists.
Not only is litter on the roads an eyesore, it can pose serious dangers to other vehicles. Throwing items such as beverage cans and bottles, coffee cups, cigarette butts can end up hitting a passing vehicle’s windshield, causing the driver to lose control of the car.
Even throwing food out of a vehicle can cause an accident if an animal enters the road in attempt to retrieve the discarded food. Drivers swerving to avoid hitting the animal can instead hit another vehicle.
One of the most serious “littering” dangers is unsecured loads, which can fall from a vehicle and land on the road. How many times have you been driving down the interstate and suddenly come upon a mattress, tree limbs, or other debris that you knew fell off a vehicle?
A study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed that every year there are at least 400 victims who die in accidents caused by road debris falling from noncommercial vehicles. Another 10,000 victims are seriously injured.
If you have been injured in a car crash caused by road debris, contact an experienced North Carolina personal injury attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have for your pain and loss.