Iowa DOT: Secure your Cargo!

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Officials say furniture, construction debris, and trash often appear on Iowa's roads, having fallen off other vehicles. They say it can cause serious crashes and injuries.

The organization "Zero Fatalities Iowa" released video showing patio furniture falling off a pickup truck in front of other vehicles, showing how dangerous road debris can be.

Officials say drivers might not realize how quickly their stuff can fall out of a vehicle.

At an Interstate 80 rest stop, straps hold down large equipment on a semi, while just a few spots away, a recreational vehicle has crates on its roof, with what looks like just one tie securing the load.

"I've seen metal, I've seen tire tarps, just regular trash,” Jo Davis said.

Davis say she's seen items fall off vehicles while on the road. She says it's common in certain parts of the state.

“See a lot of stuff on I-80, I travel I-80 a lot,” Davis said.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has suggestions for transporting items. First, use rope or straps to secure items. And check to make sure there are not any frays or tears. Next, cover the entire load with sturdy tarp or netting.

"I worry about these tarps getting away, that's why I got this string holding it down,” Todd Licklider said.

Other drivers say they do what they can to prevent contributing to highway debris. But sometimes things still come loose.

"Sometimes you just have to hit it because you can’t really go around it. I mean I drive a small car and have no choice,” Davis said.

In those situations, experts say to try to slow down as much as possible before striking the debris.