AAA study: Road debris causing death, accidents

In Los Angeles County, there are approximately 527 miles of freeway, 382 miles of conventional highways and more ladders, appliances and mattresses than you can imagine.

These road hazards can be very dangerous, according to a new report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic, which found some startling statistics.

The report states that in the past four years, there have been more than 200,000 crashes statewide. Those were often from swerving to avoid road debris.

In California, there were about 45 fatal crashes resulting in 47 deaths as a result of road debris between 2011 and 2014, according to the study.

Greg Picco said he was driving one day and "some kind of cloth fell off a truck-like canvas" and covered his entire windshield.

"It was terrifying."

Patrick Chandler with CalTrans said workers are frequently out removing road debris. According to Chandler, California spent $76 million last year to clean debris, and workers cleaned up enough to fill over 9,500 garbage trucks.

"Vehicle owners and people that are driving down the road are responsible for what's in their vehicles and what they're carrying in the vehicles," Jeff Spring with The Auto Club said. "They need to strap it down. They have to be sure it's a secure load."

Spring also said it's against the law to drop items from vehicles on to freeways.

If you see something out there, call 911. Let authorities know before someone has a wreck, which could potentially be deadly.

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