Highway Safety: Federal and State Efforts Related to Accidents That Involve Non-Commercial Vehicles Carrying Unsecured Loads, Report to Congressional Committees   [open pdf - 2MB]

From the Highlights "Vehicles carrying objects that are not properly secured pose a safety risk on our nation's roadways. Debris that falls from a vehicle can collide with other vehicles or pedestrians, causing serious injuries or fatalities. According to data collected by NHTSA [National Highway Traffic Safety Administration], there were about 440 fatalities caused by roadway debris in 2010. However, the exact number of incidents resulting from vehicles carrying unsecured loads is unknown. Congress, through the Conference Report for the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, (2012), directed NHTSA to improve its data on unsecured-load incidents and directed GAO [Government Accountability Office] to report on state laws and related exemptions, and punitive measures regarding unsecured loads on non-commercial vehicles, such as cars and light trucks used for non-commercial purposes. This report examines NHTSA's data collection efforts as well as states' laws related to unsecured loads. GAO reviewed NHTSA documents and interviewed officials from NHTSA, as well as representatives of highway safety associations and state police agencies. GAO also conducted a survey of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, with a response rate of 100 percent, and researched the laws, punitive measures, and education efforts in each state."

Report Number:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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