MCLENNAN COUNTY, Texas — As many prepare for their last vacations of the summer, one aspect along the way could put a damper on this time away.
Debris on major roadways can cause serious damage to traveling vehicles.
“It is actually a year-round problem. However, in the summer months, it is higher due to the road temperatures,” says Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Bryan Washko. “The asphalt in the summer can get up to a 130 degrees, and if you have any kind of crack or a worn tire, they’re more susceptible to blow out.”
Throughout Central Texas, it is fairly easy to spot car debris or other foreign objects on the side of major roadways – and sometimes, those pieces make their way onto the road and they could endanger you and your vehicle.
“When it comes to debris, and litter and potential obstructions or hazards on the roadways, it comes from various and numerous sources,” says Jake Smith, Public Information Officer for the Texas Department of Transportation. “And that’s why it’s important to eliminate your distractions, and really, fully pay attention to when you’re driving.”
TxDOT is in charge of creating and maintaining state roadways. But what if you have a collision with a piece of debris that could cause a large amount of damage to your vehicle?
“The main thing you want to do is get your vehicle safely out of the lane of travel to avoid being struck by oncoming traffic behind you,” Sgt. Washko said. “When you do pull off to a safe spot of the shoulder, of the roadway, or the breakdown lane, call a local law enforcement agency. If it is a reportable crash, if the damage is above a thousand dollars, which more than likely if you hit anything, it will be. Call a law enforcement agency. That way, we can get some emergency lights out there.”
Sgt. Washko also says do not be afraid to call 9-1-1 if you do not have towing services – so they can keep you safe while assessing the situation.
If you are driving and happen to see debris or an object in the road, you can file a report with TxDOT here.