This video of an American rider crashing into a load that had fallen off the back of a boat trailer being pulled by an SUV is a lesson in never following vehicles with dodgy looking loads.
Rider Brendan Jankowski, 20, doesn’t seem to be following very closely, but it is close enough for him not to be able to avoid the load of rolled-up foam that falls off. He hits it square on and flips over.
Luckily, he only received minor injuries. Police say they are still looking for the SUV which did not stop at the scene. Obviously the driver was oblivious to the incident.
It’s a good lesson to be aware of trucks and pickups carrying loads secured only by ropes and ties.
It’s not an isolated incident, either.
In Australia, the authorities receive tens of thousands of callouts a year to collect debris from our roads.
It includes household goods, building materials and green waste, causing road closures, disruptions, injuries and deaths.
Most vulnerable to these unsecured loads are motorcyclists.
I once rode on the Ipswich Motorway behind a ute carrying a load of pipes. Suddenly the rope holding them came undone and the load spilt across the roadway. I still don’t know how I managed to ride straight through the middle of it without hitting anything.
I have also witnessed all sorts of things flying off the backs of trucks and pick-ups, but the worst culprits seem to be tradies.
Perhaps they are in a rush to get home or to the next job, but too many don’t secure their loads properly.
Take a look at the side of our freeways. They are littered with tradies’ hard hats, rubber boots, gloves and tools.
Other motorists to avoid are weekend gardeners taking their load to the dump in a hired trailer. They are not professional transport operators, so they don’t know how to secure a load properly. Give them a wide berth.
It’s not as if the police and authorities don’t care about unsecured loads.
Police frequently blitz for unsecured loads and the fines range from several hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on the risk level of the spilt load.
However, a fine won’t help a rider recovering in hospital from hitting a loose load.
Instead, it’s our responsibility to stay away from any vehicle with a loose load.
And if you see a dangerous load, report it to the police.