Commercial trucks are very common on the roads of New Jersey. From the Jersey Turnpike and I-80 to the streets of Newark, truckers are frequently delivering needed goods throughout the state. As a resident of New Jersey, the question of how common truck accidents occur in the state would naturally concern you.
Being familiar with the frequency and common causes of truck accidents in the state can help you be more aware of a truck’s presence while driving. Further, knowing the preventative steps you can take while driving in the proximity of a commercial track may even save your life.
How Often Do Truck Accidents Occur in New Jersey?
Statistics reveal that, in New Jersey, accidents involving a commercial truck occur quite frequently. In 2022 alone, there were 1,434 semi-truck accidents in Jersey. Of these truck accidents, 625 resulted in passengers being injured.
Even more concerning is the fact that the number of fatal truck accidents in the state is increasing. According to one source, from 2012 to 2021, the number of truck accident fatalities increased by almost 50 percent. The counties with the highest risk of fatal truck accidents are Essex, Gloucester, Mercer, Middlesex, and Union.
Common causes of truck accidents in New Jersey
Truck accidents occur for a variety of reasons. In most cases, it is discovered that driver error was the cause.
Common types of driver error include:
- Reckless driving: The pressure of meeting a deadline may cause a truck driver to exceed the speed limit, tailgate, or fail to yield to other vehicles on the road. Other forms of reckless driving include failing to obey traffic laws, aggressive lane-changing, and DUIs.
- Distracted driving: Commercial truck drivers frequently engage in various forms of distracted driving. Some forms of distracted driving are adjusting the GPS, eating or drinking, and using a cell phone.
- Drowsy driving: In some cases, a truck driver may be under the influence of certain medications, which would cause him or her to fall asleep behind the wheel. However, the cause of drowsy driving is frequently found to be lack of sufficient rest.
Apart from driver error, there are other causes of truck accidents in New Jersey, such as:
- Faulty parts: Failing to provide the necessary maintenance to keep the truck in a safe operating condition is sometimes the cause of an accident. In some cases, a defective part may arrive from the manufacturer and be installed on the truck, contributing to a future crash.
- Inclement weather: Weather conditions such as snow, sleet, and tropical rains can create hazardous conditions on the road. Such dangerous road conditions may cause a truck to be unable to stop before colliding with or hydroplaning into other vehicles.
- Poorly loaded cargo: If cargo is improperly loaded and unsecured, a rollover accident may result or the cargo can leave hazardous debris on the road. Further, overloading the cargo may cause the tires to blow, which can cause the driver to lose control.
Since truck accidents can occur due to several reasons, it would be wise to speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer when you are involved in a crash. A truck accident lawyer knows how to gather evidence, find the truck accident’s causes, and pursue all at-fault parties for compensation.
Preventative Steps You Can Take to Avoid a Truck Accident in New Jersey
While it’s true that truck accidents are increasing in the state, there are several steps that you can take while driving that could lessen your chances of experiencing a crash.
For instance, you should:
- Avoid a truck’s blind spots: Commercial trucks have much bigger blind spots than the average passenger vehicle. “If you cannot see the truck driver’s reflection in his or her side mirror, you are in the truck driver’s blind spot and they cannot see you,” according to DriversEd.com. Stay away from these blind spots by slowing down. If you need to pass, always do so on the left side, which is more visible to the truck driver.
- Follow at a safe distance: If you find yourself driving behind a truck, allow more space than for a non-commercial vehicle. If the truck has to come to a sudden stop, you want to give yourself enough time to react and avoid an accident. Also, following at a safe distance would give you more visibility of the road.
- Be careful when passing: Only pass a commercial truck when you can do so completely and quickly. You never want to linger alongside a truck, even on the driver’s side. There is a risk of a blowout, which could result in an accident.
- Expect wide turns: Trucks need more space when turning than automobiles, so they might signal a right turn while in the center lane. Also, the driver has less visibility on the right side. So never attempt to turn right ahead of a truck, even if you are in the right lane.
These are just a few helpful reminders to keep you safe while driving on the road. If you experience a truck accident, your first step should always be to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney.
Our New Jersey Truck Accident Attorneys Are Ready to Help
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, don’t attempt to go down the legal road alone. The aftermath of a truck accident can be extremely complicated. You may be fighting for fair compensation with multiple highly skilled insurance adjusters and attorneys working against you.
You need a knowledgeable truck accident attorney fighting for your interests, but the truck accident lawyers at Judd Shaw Injury Law can deliver the WOW. Any of the truck accident attorneys at our law firm would be able to deal with the insurance adjusters’ tactics and attorney counterarguments in defense of his or her client.
Get assistance with your case as soon as today. Reach a truck accident lawyer at Judd Shaw Injury Law today at 1-866-909-6894 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation.
Content edited by personal injury attorney Judd Shaw. From the beginning, Judd established a set of Core Values laying out the pursuit for excellence in client service. He is a regular host of the Working The Wow podcast, with the belief that providing an exceptional client experience is just as important as delivering a quality service or product. You can find us in Red Bank and Tom‘s River, New Jersey.