ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – National Secure Your Load Day, when highway safety representatives raise awareness about the dangers of driving with unsecured items, in honor of those whose lives have been lost or impacted by road debris that fell from a vehicle, is being celebrated Monday. The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) urges drivers to make sure that any cargo they are transporting on their vehicles is properly secured.

Data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that unsecured loads and road debris caused 715 deaths, 16,595 injuries, and 82,479 property damage crashes nationwide in 2020. According to statistics compiled by the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research (ITSMR), there were 2,969 crashes in which “obstruction/debris” was listed as a contributing factor across New York State in 2020.

The AAA Foundation for Safety says that drivers can lower their chances of being involved in a road debris crash by making sure all items are secured and that their vehicle is properly maintained. The Foundation also recommends driving defensively, avoid tailgating, and continuously search the road for debris.

Suggestions from the AAA Foundation for Safety:

  • Tie down the load with rope, netting, or straps.
  • Tie large objects directly to the vehicle or trailer.
  • Cover the entire load with a sturdy tarp or netting.
  • Don’t overload the vehicle.
  • Double-check load to make sure it is secure.