Though the weight limits can fluctuate, based on a variety of factors, a fully loaded commercial semi or tractor-trailer can haul as much as 80,000 pounds on New Jersey’s highways. If you’re a passenger in an automobile and you are involved in a collision with one of those behemoths, the consequences are almost always serious and catastrophic. Unfortunately, such accidents happen far too often and for many different reasons. Here are two of the most frequent causes of large truck accidents.
Improper Conduct by the Driver
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration compiles statistics every year regarding the causes of truck accidents. Many of the most frequent causes stem from inappropriate or wrongful behavior by truck drivers. Often, it’s some form of substance abuse, frequently involving the use of stimulants to increase time behind the wheel. Excessive speed and carelessness in loading an 18-wheeler are also significant factors in the number of large truck accidents every year. Other driver-related causes include:
- Driving on unfamiliar roads, leading to excessive speed or sudden braking
- Driving while distracted by cell phones, radios or other devices, or by roadside attractions
- Improper or illegal lane changes
- Failure to use turn signals
Violation of Trucking Regulations
Because of the known risks posed by big rigs, state and federal legislatures have implemented specific regulations: restrictions on the amount of time drivers may spend behind the wheel during a given period, and regulations requiring regular maintenance of vehicles. Often, though, because drivers are paid by the mile, there’s enormous pressure to skirt or ignore the regulations, leading to serious accidents caused either by driver fatigue or by mechanical failures.
Contact Attorney Howard D. Popper
To learn your options after suffering an injury in a commercial truck accident, contact our office online or call attorney Popper at 973-993-8787. We have offices in Morristown and Newton, but will come to your home or the hospital, if necessary. There is no charge for your first consultation.
We handle all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. You won’t be charged any legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.