Collisions between large trucks and passenger vehicles are usually due to one of five things. Drivers in New Jersey should know these five factors as it may help them be more responsible while sharing the road with big rigs. The first is driver error. In the majority (81%) of truck crashes that involve error, the passenger vehicle driver is at fault. However, truckers can nevertheless cause a crash through drowsy, drunk, drugged or distracted driving.
Over the summer, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance teamed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to conduct its annual Operation Safe Driver Week. During the weeklong event, which took place from July 14-20, law enforcement officers from New Jersey and other states issued citations to both passenger and commercial drivers for a variety of traffic violations.
From poor road conditions due to bad weather to driver fatigue, there are a lot of reasons why large truck wrecks continue to occur. With the massive size of these vehicles, these accidents are especially likely to result in the loss of life or serious injuries that derail someone's life. Unfortunately, some truck drivers use stimulants (both legal and illegal) in an attempt to stay alert while they are behind the wheel. This can be very dangerous, however. Not only does stimulant usage sometimes lead to intoxication, but it can also create a false sense of alertness even though a trucker is very fatigued.
Tractor trailers are an essential part of the American economy, as they deliver goods to all parts of the country. Trucking companies rely on reliable and qualified truck drivers to get loads to their destination and meet tight deadlines. While there are nearly 3.5 million truck drivers in the country, a surprising 160,000 truck driving jobs will go unfilled within the next 10 years. This shortage of qualified truck drivers may lead to an increase in large truck accidents.
Sharing the New Jersey roadway with commercial trucks can prove unnerving for many motorists, because when cars and trucks crash into one another, the drivers and passengers in the smaller vehicles typically suffer most. At Escandon, Fernicola, Anderson, Covelli & McPherson, we recognize that air brake failure is a frequent cause of today’s semi-truck crashes, and we also understand that many incidents involving brake failure are avoidable.
There are rules and regulations currently in place that require New Jersey and the nation’s commercial truck drivers to rest every so often, and these rules exist to help prevent fatigued driving and improve public safety as a result. At Escandon, Fernicola, Anderson, Covelli and McPherson, we understand the current administration is considering loosening up the rules governing trucker drive times, and we also recognize how doing so could potentially endanger everyone else on the roadway.
Injuries happen every day, but we still do not live in a society where those responsible for injuring others always take appropriate action to remedy the situation. At the law firm of Escandon, Fernicola, Anderson, Covelli & McPherson, we are proud to be part of a system that attempts to make sure nobody gets away with hurting someone else. The law is not perfect, but we believe that our work makes a big difference for our clients.
Today’s truck drivers have a career that requires considerable responsibility, but regrettably, many of them behave in a manner that is anything but responsible. Based on size and weight alone, large tractor-trailers pose a threat to other motorists across New Jersey and the nation, but when the people driving those tractor-trailers are also abusing alcohol or drugs, the trucks become even more potentially deadly.
For companies that rely on their employees to transport products or services to other vendors in New Jersey, the risks of managing a fleet of vehicles and drivers can be quite serious. Reducing the number of accidents that their employees are involved in and being able to confidently rely on those same employees to uphold the company's reputation are paramount to the overall success of their organization.
Back in 2002, the University of Minnesota Morris began the Truckers & Turnover Project, a multi-year study involving students, faculty and several motor carriers. The cooperating firms operate in the long-haul truckload segment of the trucking industry, a segment that has a high turnover rate. The goal of the study, initially, was to project and identify factors that predict retention rates, productivity and other on-the-job outcomes for truckers across New Jersey and other states. One such outcome is crash risk.