The open road is an unpredictable environment, and drivers should prepare for the worst at all times. This is why many motorists buy comprehensive coverage in addition to collision, as comprehensive covers their vehicle in the event of a natural disaster or animal encounter. Of the latest dangers threatening drivers, loose pieces of metal and rock are among the most threatening. Not only could vehicles be damaged by flying debris, drivers and passengers could also suffer injuries, or worse, death.
Geography is a major factor for drivers looking to determine their risk of being hit by loose objects on the road. Areas reliant on construction and natural resource industries are some of the most dangerous places to drive due to a high volume of heavy, hazardous material being transported at any given time. According to a recent report from The Monitor, gas and oil well production has put thousands of loaded trucks on the road, consequently leaving shattered windshields all over South and West Texas.
"The force and also the size of the rocks in this area, they're pretty big," El Paso native Eddie Posselt told the news source. "Most of the time, the damage is not repairable."
What can drivers do to minimize their risk?
While it might seem like this issue is beyond drivers' control, The Monitor explained that there are ways to avoid being struck by a piece of scrap metal or rock. When trucks with heavy loads are on the road, give them plenty of space. Attempting to pass a vehicle transporting dangerous material is not worth the possible consequence of paying for a new windshield, or being severely injured. Rural roads are also quickly damaged in regions with a lot of heavy transport, so drivers in these areas should be extra careful to avoid potholes and sharp objects.
There is always a chance that dangerous objects will impact a vehicle without warning. According to Komo News, one Washington man was nearly killed when a piece of steel debris flew towards his car and smashed his windshield. Police reports were inconclusive in determining the origin of the flying object. While the man only suffered minor injuries, drivers should view his tale as a lesson to always be cautious when driving, regardless of the surroundings.