So I’m driving down the Long Island Expressway Friday night with my future brother-in-law. I’m in the left lane, keeping up with traffic, when suddenly the car in front of me kicks something up.
'Twas a piece of somebody’s BUMPER. I didn’t even have enough time to go “oh, shit!” before this big piece of plastic smacked into my car’s front end and tucked under the car.
Upon arriving home, I survey the damage: One license plate hanging by a thread. A few minor scratches on the front nose piece (they’ll probably polish out). A couple deep gouges in the front air dam (not a big deal).
So the damage was minor, but it easily could have been worse. My car is very low to the ground and the plastic bumper piece could have snagged on something and caught fire. I’ve seen this happen with orange road cones and such - they drag under cars, the friction starts a fire and the next thing you know, there’s molten plastic burning under your car.
So I started paying attention to the volume of road debris on the L.I.E. On the strip of road I observed, there was some sort of hazardous piece of debris lying in the road every few thousand feet or so. A piece of peeled-off truck tire tread here, a misplaced orange barrel there.
Not to mention the idiots who drive landscaping trucks and such around with open tailgates, without covering loads of dirt or woodchips with a tarp, with tools flying out the back, etc. A couple years ago, I dodged a tamper that fell off of some dude’s landscaping trailer. God knows hitting a tamper at 60+ MPH would seriously screw up your car. A few weeks back, some jerk was hauling a load of sand down the right lane of the expressway - no tarp, no nothing. As I was listening to the grains of sand doing an impromptu sandblast job on the front of my car, I looked for an opening so I can pull out and pass this asshole. After a minute or so, I find the opening and pass him. Does he get pulled over? No. I look in my rearview mirror and see him go right through a speed trap without so much as a raised eyebrow from the cops.
Okay. Accidents happen. I get it. But when accidents do happen, there’s no excuse for leaving pieces of cars and other random detritus all over the place. The state road crews should be out and about, clearing this stuff off the road. And a hefty “fuck you” to people who, through their own negligence, litter the roads with stuff that can cause serious accidents or other damage to vehicles. Close your fricking tailgate. It’ll take you 10 seconds. Go buy a tarp and some bungee cords at Wal-Mart. It’ll only cost you 10 bucks or so.