COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Sharing the road means more than just staying in your lane and watching out for others. It also means securing items in the back of your truck or on top of your vehicle.
A study done by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety said poorly secured loads are responsible for more than 25,000 crashes each year in North America.
Along Highway 6 in College Station, we noticed things like lumber, plastic boxes and even tarps lining the road. It's something professional mover Brian Collier says is all too common.
"We actually witnessed something right here in front of our office yesterday where some two-by-fours fell out close to the highway on the feeder road here," said Collier, a branch manager for Little Guys Movers.
The Texas Department of Public Safety says larger commercial vehicles, like semi trucks, are subject to federal regulations. But regular pickups often go unchecked. That's why it's the driver's responsibility to keep things secure.
Collier said he uses ratchet straps to secure items in pickups.
"The wind is going to pick up, catch some of these items," said Collier. "It could come out, hit another vehicle, cause an accident."
Similar straps can also be used to secure items on top of vehicles.
According to state law, "loose material," or objects that can be blown or spilled form a vehicle, must be bound by a pickup's side panels, cab and tailgate. And the tailgate must be closed.
Loose material isn't allowed to hang over the sides of the vehicle and the rules are more strict for commercial vehicles.
The DPS also says if an object falls from your vehicle and causes damage or an accident, you can be held responsible.