In most cases, business owners are legally and financially liable for any damage their drivers might cause—but some situations just can’t be controlled. For instance, if your truck kicks up a rock on the interstate that cracks another motorist’s windshield, will they be able to file a claim against your insurance policy? Whether you can be held responsible for these types of damages depends on where the debris came from and the behavior of the other driver.
Driver Responsibility for Road Debris Accidents
The Difference Between Road Debris & Falling Debris
As a general rule, road debris damage is considered a true accident. After all, no one can know whether their vehicle will kick up a particular rock, and the smallest pebble can cause extensive damage when traveling at high speeds. However, if the debris falls off of your truck and hits another car, the other driver will have a valid claim against your insurance policy.
Preventing Falling Debris Accidents
Approximately two-thirds of debris-related accidents are caused by objects falling off vehicles, resulting in thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths every year. Falling-debris accidents may be caused by gravel and construction material falling off an overloaded dump truck, wheels and other parts coming loose on the highway, or uncoupled trailers crashing into other vehicles.
While not all of these accidents can be prevented, routine safety inspections and rigorous vehicle maintenance can minimize the risk of causing a serious accident. Drivers and warehouse crews should also receive in-depth training about properly loading vehicles, ensuring that nothing comes loose and causes an accident during transit. These measures will help you avoid extensive legal battles, expensive liability claims against your insurance policy, and damage to the lives of other drivers.
Whether you own a single delivery vehicle or operate an entire fleet, Auto Insurance World offers insurance policies tailored to your needs. With offices in Lake City and Live Oak, FL, they provide customized solutions to business owners throughout the area, with options from many of the industry’s leading carriers. To get in touch and request a quote, call (386) 755-7283 or visit them online, and follow their Facebook for more insurance tips and advice.