The evidence is everywhere: a cooler on the side of the highway, a mattress in the median, a ladder clacking on the side of a work truck going down the road. Drivers who don't secure their cargo put us all at serious risk.
While driving back to college, Steve's daughter was seriously injured when a piece of particle board broke free from the truck in front of her and crashed through her windshield. Instinctively, she shielded her face, the board nearly severing her left arm, shattering her right hand, and smashing her mouth.
"It was the worst thing I could imagine hearing — 'Your daughter has been taken by Flight for Life,'" Steve said.
After five years that included reconstructive surgeries, plastic surgery, a dozen pins in one hand, and intensive physical therapy, Steve's daughter is doing well, has graduated from college, and is working in the microbiology field.
Lessons from that day linger
The driver carrying the board did not stop. When he eventually was identified, he had no insurance and minimal assets. Medical bills stacked up quickly, devouring Steve's coverage limits.
Steve learned that everyone should purchase higher limits for liability, uninsured motorists, and underinsured motorists coverage to have adequate protection for situations like this.
Another lesson is that we're not in control of all the exposures around us.
When it comes to vehicles carrying cargo:
• Never assume a load is secure.
• Maintain a safe driving distance.
• Stay alert for debris coming out of dump trucks and garbage trucks.