Causes of New Jersey Truck Accidents
Learn more about tractor trailer accidents in NJ
The United States’ commercial trucking industry ranks among the largest in the world, with over 15 million trucks transporting over $6 billion of commodities each year. The Department of Transportation reports a 50 percent increase in the number of goods being transported by commercial trucks since 2015, with most trucks carrying cargo weighing up to 80,000 pounds. While our economy depends on commercial trucking to transport our goods and services, it does come with a price.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), over 400,000 trucking accidents were reported in 2015 resulting in close to 4,000 fatalities and over 80,000 injuries. The sheer weight and size of a commercial truck is no match for a standard passenger vehicle. When a collision happens between a commercial truck and a motor vehicle, serious and often fatal injuries occur. What makes the statistics even more alarming is the fact that many of these accidents could have been prevented.
Accidents involving trucks and cars often result in serious injuries that result in long recovery periods, permanent disability, and fatal injury. At Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP, our legal team is dedicated to helping victims injured in accidents involving commercial trucks claim the justice and compensation they deserve.
Not following regulations a major cause of NJ truck accidents
The job of a truck driver is a stressful one, often fraught with tight schedules, dangerous weather, and poor road conditions. Trucking companies, truck drivers, and truck manufacturers are regulated by strict federal and state laws. When violations occur, the risk of a serious or fatal accident increases significantly.
Driver fatigue is a major cause of trucking accidents. Federal laws limit truck drivers to driving no more than 11 hours in a 14 hour period. Once they have reached the 11 hour total, they must be off the road for a period of 10 consecutive hours. Driver fatigue can also come from sleep deprivation due to tight delivery schedules or from sleep apnea, which is a common health problem reported among truck drivers. Trucking employers that demand their drivers exceed the federally mandated limit for consecutive driving hours or that fail to properly train their employees on the federal and state laws governing the industry can be penalized with heavy fines and loss of their operating license.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports that 33 percent of all truck drivers involved in trucking accidents test positive for alcohol or drugs, making impaired driving the second leading cause of trucking accidents. Alcohol, marijuana, and methamphetamines are the most commonly abused drugs among commercial truck drivers. Long hours on the road, loneliness, and fatigue can lead many drivers to turn to alcohol or drugs for comfort and stamina. Random and routine drug testing are mandatory and substance abuse programs are available to help reduce the number of truck accidents caused by alcohol or drug abuse.
It is imperative for truck drivers to be attentive and obey state and local laws at all times to ensure the safety of all vehicles on the road. Distracted driving, speeding, tailgating, improper turns, and failure to use directional signals can lead to serious accidents. Truck drivers must be keenly aware of their blind spots known as “No Zone” areas to avoid colliding with other vehicles when making wide right turns or changing lanes. They must also ensure that routine maintenance and safety checks are performed on their truck to avoid accidents caused by mechanical malfunctions.
When to contact a NJ truck accident lawyer
Victims injured in truck accidents need to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable truck accident lawyer immediately. Determining the cause of the accident is vital to a successful claim. Laws vary by state, making it imperative for crucial evidence to be gathered to support claims. Trucking companies often have legal teams on retainer to defend them against injury lawsuits, making it even more important to hire an experienced truck accident lawyer.
Head and spinal injuries, broken bones, crushing injuries, and neurological impairment are common injuries in accidents involving trucks and can require long recovery periods. Compensation for hospital bills, medical costs, prescription medications, physical therapy, and lost wages can help victims focus on their recovery. Damages for pain and suffering can also help those with permanent or disabling injuries maintain their quality of life following a truck accident.
New Jersey truck accident lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP help victims of truck accidents claim compensation
If you or someone you know has been injured in a truck accident, the New Jersey truck accident lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP can help you claim the compensation you deserve. Call us at 732-777-0100, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our Red Bank, Edison, and Toms River, New Jersey, offices serve clients throughout the state.