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I've had to swerve to miss quite a few things in the middle of the road here in Lubbock.

Plywood, tree branches, mattresses, bricks, and bags of clothing all come immediately to mind.

But does it get any more Lubbock than having to change lanes to miss... an entire hay bale? Yeah, that happen to several Lubbock folks recently.

Whoops. That's quite a load to lose on the road, and it's not like you can just pick it up and throw it back in your truck bed. Hay bales are way heavier than they look.

Mistakes and accidents happen. Whoever lost their hay bale may have had it secured to the best of their ability but a strap failed, or a particularly gnarly wind gust happened or whatever. But as a whole, Lubbock really could be better about securing loads more properly.

It is actually a misdemeanor to have an unsecured load and could result in a heavy fine. And, of course, the driver of the unsecured load is responsible for any damage caused in an unsecured load accident.

Cargo must be firmly immobilized or secured on or within a vehicle by structures of adequate strength, dunnage (loose materials used to protect cargo) or dunnage bags (inflatable bags intended to fill the space between articles of cargo or between cargo and the wall of the vehicle), shoring bars, tie downs, or a combination of these.

These accidents can also be deadly:

Unsecured loads are responsible for about 51,000 accidents each year in North America, resulting in nearly 10,000 injuries and 440 fatalities according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

So it's definitely best to ensure that your load is secure, and properly tied down and that all of your straps or bars can handle the weight. Make sure nothing is able to slide around, either. Let's keep our roads clear and remember "hay is for horses" right?

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