Did you know New Jersey has the reputation for some the worst roads and highways in the nation – for many years in a row? This coupled with extremely congested highways is a recipe for disaster for truck accidents in New Jersey. The size and weight of tractor trailers barreling down highways create a dangerous risk of injuries – and fatalities – when they are involved in accidents.
Here are my Top 7 Causes of Truck Accidents
- Truck Size and Cargo Weight
Not only are tractor trailers huge, but their cargo can be heavy or even hazardous. The size of trucks makes them hard to maneuver. The weight of trucks makes it difficult for them to slow down or stop in time. A cargo spill can cause multi-vehicle pile ups.
- Truck Driver Fatigue
While there are rules about how long a truck driver can travel without a break, many truck drivers ignore these regulations in order to get to their destination on time. And in New Jersey, the truck rest stops are often full to capacity with no room for tired truck drivers to rest. Truck driver fatigue can lead to poor decisions and even sleeping behind the wheel while driving a truck.
- Illegal Drugs and Narcotics
While the most frequent drug used by truck drivers is marijuana, speed is often taken by truck drivers. The narcotic amphetamine known as “speed” is taken by truck drivers so they can try to stay awake during long trips. Approximately 50,000 truck drivers test positive for speed each year – and those are just the ones who are caught. The numbers could be much higher.
- Mechanical Failures
Broken down trucks are a familiar sight on New Jersey’s highways and roads. The trucking companies are supposed to conduct maintenance on their trucks, but by the sheer volume of broken down and old trucks on the road, this is clearly not happening. Also, truck tire blowouts can cause trucks to lose control at high rates of speed. This is very dangerous for unlucky drivers near a truck during a blowout.
- Road Rage
Aggressive driving is common for truck drivers who are frustrated with long hours on the highway and stuck in traffic. Truck drivers have deadlines to get their delivery to its destination and drivers who are delayed by traffic or frustrated with long hours on the road can become aggressive. My advice: ALWAYS yield to a truck to be safe.
- Poor Training
Trucking companies are always hiring new drivers. The rush to get new drivers on the road can lead to inexperienced truck drivers who are not safe. Not only are poorly trained truck drivers unfamiliar with driving a truck, they are also unfamiliar with rules and laws that apply to trucks. Many trucks are not allowed on certain roads due to their weight or low bridges.
- Truck Driver Distraction
Distracted driving is not just for cars. Truck drivers can also be distracted on cell phones, CB radios, or GPS. Truck drivers may be diverted on GPS due to traffic and end up not paying attention to other cars on the road and can become LOST! Bored truck drivers can look at the internet or talk on their phones while they drive. And the enormous size and weight of big rigs and tractor trailers magnifies the risk of serious injury – or fatality – when involved in an accident with a truck.
Be careful, be alert, and drive safe. If you are involved in an accident with a truck, you may be seriously injured. Call my office Howard P. Lesnik immediately. I am always available 24/7 for my clients!