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Watch out ... debris!

(Creative Commons)

(Creative Commons)

By Krissy Vann
Presenter, The Weather Network
Thursday, January 16, 2014, 11:07 AM

We share our highways with cars, trucks and motorcycles, but sometimes we encounter unexpected objects in our path. Beat The Traffic specialist Michael Philp has heard it all on the scanners when it comes to debris. He says some of the typical items that he hears reported are ladders, tire debris, tools and insulation. Philp has also heard of some unusual objects that can block a lane such as mattresses, barbeques and during the holiday season it seemed as though Christmas trees were running rampant on the roadways. Solving this debris problem needs to start with the culprits transporting the loose objects.

If you find yourself in a situation where it’s necessary to transport loose items on the exterior of your car or in the flatbed of a truck, it is your responsibility as the driver to secure the load. Unfortunately that is not always the case and items from wood to couches end up in our path. So what do you do if you encounter a large piece of debris on the road way?

Bob Nichols from The Ministry of Transportation - Ontario says, “To report large debris on provincial highways, we recommend drivers call *OPP on their cell phone. That gets them directly to the local OPP detachment. Police then alert us to the situation and location, so that our highway maintenance contractors can respond. Large debris is obviously a safety hazard, so once we’re made aware of it, our maintenance contractors and/or police remove it as quickly as possible."

Unfortunately, sometimes even when the proper precautions are taken we are unable to get out of the way in time. Hitting debris at highway speeds can cause extensive damage to your vehicle. Peter Opdam from Travis Cairns Insurance and Financial Services says if you find yourself in this situation call your insurance company immediately. How your claim is resolved depends on how the situation occurred. Opdam says, “If an item were to fall off another vehicle, such as stone or a piece of wood or ice off a moving truck that would be a comprehensive claim. However if the item hits the road first and then you strike the item or it bounces and you hit it, that’s a collision. Typically a collision claim would count against you, whereas most comprehensive claims won’t have the same level of effect.”

BEAT THE TRAFFIC : Get The App. Get There Sooner. Beat the Traffic helps ease your commute with recommended routes and real-time adjustments. Beat the Traffic by downloading it today for Apple and now on Android devices as well.

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