The Different Factors That Contribute to Commercial Truck Collisions
A commercial truck can legally travel New Jersey’s highways with a total weight of up to 80,000 pounds. When something that size collides with a passenger vehicle—usually weighing around 4,000 pounds—the consequences can be devastating. Though state and federal officials have worked hard to reduce the risk of truck-car collisions, there are still many factors that contribute to the more than 500,000 truck accidents across the United States every year.
Because of the way most truck drivers are compensated—by the mile—there’s an incentive to spend a lot of time behind the wheel, leading to fatigue. State and federal regulations govern time on the road, and drivers and trucking companies are required to keep logbooks. Unfortunately, they are frequently falsified or not used to record all time on the road. A fatigued driver may experience impaired judgment, reduced reaction times, and an inability to control a big rig, semi, 18-wheeler, or tractor-trailer.
A commercial truck driver may cause an accident for a variety of reasons:
- Lack of experience behind the wheel of a big rig
- Unfamiliarity with the roadway
- Disregard for speed limits or other traffic regulations
- Failure to confirm the presence of other motorists in a blind spot
- Distracted driving caused by looking at or using handheld devices, talking to passengers, or otherwise taking attention off the road
Commercial truckers must also keep a maintenance log, but that can be falsified as well. Among the common equipment issues that contribute to accidents are:
- Failure to maintain brakes or tires;
- Carrying too much cargo or failure to balance cargo in the trailer;
- Removal of front brakes, typically to reduce wear and tear and therefore save on replacement expenses; and
- Failure to inspect or maintain the mechanism that attaches the tractor to the trailer.
Though some drivers use drugs to keep them alert and awake, alcohol and other controlled substances are factors in an estimated 3% of all truck crashes.
Contact Attorney Howard N. Sobel
At the office of Howard N. Sobel, we aggressively protect the rights of people hurt in truck accidents. Contact our office online or call us at 856-424-6400 to set up a free initial consultation (on selected cases). Evening and weekend appointments can be arranged upon request. We accept all major credit cards.
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