In one YouTube video, everything seems ordinary. The driver trails a white car on the highway and, for a while, it could be just any other day on the road. Then, out of nowhere, an object flies in through the window, sending a spider’s web of splinters across the glass. Road debris doesn’t need to fly in through the windshield to be deadly. Debris in the road can put motorcyclists and other drivers in danger. According to the Globe and Mail, road debris can lead to blown tires. When this happens, a driver is at risk of losing control of his or her car.
Road debris results from garbage other drivers throw on the road, or it can result from poor road maintenance. When drivers hit animals, the animals can sometimes obstruct the road as well. The cities of Boise and Nampa, Idaho are responsible for maintaining clear and safe roads, but the roadways are not always clear of debris. When drivers get into accidents or suffer personal injuries due to debris, they may have few places to turn to because much road debris is often left on the road by anonymous culprits. Yet, individuals who have suffered injuries due to road debris may still be entitled to compensation for their medical expenses and lost wages. If the city failed to perform its due diligence to clean the road and the debris resulted from a damaged roadway or from negligent construction, individuals may have a right to seek money for damages. Additionally, if a person sees another person littering and this debris results in an accident, the person throwing garbage into the road may be held accountable.
In order to reduce the amount of trash and debris on the road, Idaho has a road kill law that has proven to be shockingly popular. According to the Star Tribune, Idaho law allows individuals to salvage road kill from highways. Since the Idaho Department of Fish and Game allowed individuals to salvage animals from the road, close to 5,000 animals have been recovered. This means fewer animals blocking roadways and fewer animals posing a danger to drivers and motorcyclists. Animal related accidents are quite common in Idaho. While most of these accidents mostly result in damage to property or a car, in some cases, these accidents can be more serious. According to researchers, the number of animals salvaged doesn’t account for the many more animals that die on roadways and remain there.
The salvage law has many benefits. It helps scientists determine where animals are getting hit and it also offers some Idahoans a source of food. As a result of the research, wildlife underpasses have been installed outside of Boise to protect both drivers and the animals trying to cross the road.
While the government is taking some measures to reduce the presence of debris on the roadways, drivers also have a responsibility to keep roads clean. Drivers should never litter and should always report unsafe conditions when they see them. Finally, city officials also have a role to play by making sure that roads are maintained, by promoting safe construction sites, and by monitoring areas where animals are getting hit. The Law Office of Johnson & Lundgreen is a personal injury law firm in Boise and Nampa, Idaho committed to helping accident victims move forward with their lives after an accident.