At first instinct, many begin fastening seatbelts for their children and themselves, but what about the loads in the back of their pickup trucks?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, each year, about 730 people are killed and 17,000 more are injured because of objects on the road. Most of these accidents involve unsecured loads on passenger vehicles. In addition to the safety hazards, debris from unsecured loads contributes to roadside litter which costs Mississippi more than $3 million per year to remove.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation’s top priority is the safety of the traveling public.
“Before you drive, ask yourself if you would feel safe driving behind your vehicle,” said Brad White, MDOT executive director. “A few extra minutes spent securing your load could save a life. Properly securing your load also reduces litter on Mississippi highways and helps you steer clear of legal consequences.”
Motorists responsible for debris from unsecured loads could face fines up to $500 and up to six months in prison.
Mississippi motorists can help keep others safe and avoid legal troubles by:
- Tying down the load with rope, netting or straps.
- Tying large objects directly to the vehicle or trailer.
- Covering the entire load with a sturdy tarp.
- Not overloading the vehicle.
- Always double checking the load to make sure it is secure.
- Using safety chains when hauling trailers.
To learn more about travel safety, visit GoMDOT.com/DriveSmartMS.