Rising Crash Rates Call for Greater Caution
Recent accident statistics show that there tend to be a lot of serious auto collisions and truck accidents in New Jersey. Although the South Brunswick township usually averages three or four fatal crashes per year, there were three within one month in the summer of 2019. Local motorists should take extra steps to stay safe on the roads and avoid truck crashes.
Recent Truck Accidents in New Jersey
Although several of the recent accidents involved distracted drivers, one of the serious wrecks involved a cement truck and a smaller vehicle. Two other recent accidents involved dump trucks. Lately, there have been more reports of reckless drivers in large trucks. When most people think of truck accidents, they think of semi-trailer crashes. However, dump trucks, cement trucks and other large vehicles can be just as dangerous.
On July 19, a man from Trenton was severely injured after his vehicle hit a cement truck from behind. Due to the force of the impact, the driver’s vehicle lodged under the truck. This accident occurred in South Brunswick on Route 1. After that crash, the South Brunswick Police Traffic Safety Bureau spent hours investigating the crash and recreating simulations of it. The organization investigates the factors in each major crash in the area. In response to the rising rate of fatal and serious accidents in the township this summer, the investigation team is conducting even more analyses to pinpoint factors that may be contributing to the overall rise in fatalities. In the previously referenced case and several others, driver inattention was a major factor.
On August 14, a dump truck crashed into a home in South Brunswick on Shelly Road. The driver was seriously injured, and authorities said that the inhabitants could have been seriously injured or killed. Three people were sleeping inside the home when the crash occurred. The truck plowed so far into the home that it was barely visible from outside, and it did so much damage that it left the home uninhabitable. Fortunately, the truck did not go through the bedrooms where the occupants were sleeping early that morning. The incident is still under investigation.
In nearby Essex County, another dump truck hit an ambulance at a crash scene on July 30. The ambulance smashed into a firetruck, and police SUVs were also involved in the ensuing damage. Two state troopers who were on the scene suffered serious injuries from the dump truck. According to a spokesperson from West Orange, five firefighters were injured and had to be taken to the hospital. Although most of them were treated and sent home, one firefighter remained hospitalized.
A Dangerous Truck Accidents in New Jersey Trend Revealed
The previous examples reveal a trend in driver inattention among both truck drivers and motorists. As fall approaches, commuters and families will be on the road for work, school, after-school activities and more. Although it is easy to get distracted by phones or passengers, all drivers must pay close attention to what others are doing on the road. Since cars usually sustain much more damage than large trucks in accidents, one moment of inattention around a careless or distracted driver of a large truck can have lifelong or deadly consequences. Based on some lessons from the previous examples, the following are some helpful safety reminders to practice on the road this fall.
Be Aware of Truck Driver Visibility Restrictions
Drivers of dump trucks and other large trucks cannot always see what is behind them or alongside them as well as other motorists. For this reason, do not tail any large trucks. When passing, pass as quickly as possible without compromising safety. Since big trucks often change lanes quickly, a quick pass is especially important on multi-lane freeways. After passing a large truck, do not merge back over until there are at least four car lengths between the back of the car and the front of the truck.
Watch for Trucks Stopping Suddenly
Large trucks can wreak havoc when they stop suddenly. Unfortunately, it may be difficult for you to stop in time to avoid hitting them when driving less than four car lengths behind. Most people know to maintain a safe distance behind semitrailers. However, they often forget to follow the same rules for dump trucks and other large trucks. Keep a distance of more than four car lengths in moving traffic. On open highways, keep a greater distance. Some large trucks and trailers may not have impact-absorbing bumpers, which means that they are a greater danger in a rear-end crash.
Know How to Report Careless Drivers
Since driver inattention or drowsiness is to blame in many accidents that are caused by truck drivers, it is important to watch for swerving dump trucks and other large trucks. Employees may go to work tired or may not be paying attention to the road. When approaching a swerving truck driver from behind, do not try to speed up to pass the person. The driver could swerve and cause a crash. It is better to stay behind the driver and call for help. Always report dangerous drivers by calling 911. If there is a passenger in the car who can make a call, it is safer to let that person handle it. Some trucks have company names or numbers printed on them. If someone in the vehicle can write this information down from a safe distance behind the truck, use the information to report the driver to the company later.
What to Do After Truck Accidents in New Jersey
As the family that lost its home to a dump truck crash now know, truck accidents can happen anywhere. There may be property damage, bodily damage or both. These accidents can also traumatize victims and cause anxiety and other issues. If you are involved in a truck accident in the future, try to take photos of the scene if it is possible and safe to do so. Do not talk about the details to other people at the scene, and never hint at or admit fault. Avoid making social media posts about the incident. After the police make a report, request a copy of it. Once you have been treated for your injuries, contact an attorney who understands trucking law. To protect yourself, do not talk to the truck driver’s insurance company or accept any direct offers.
If you or a family member were injured in a truck accident recently, an attorney can be your advocate to help you get compensation for your injuries. When truck drivers cause accidents that result in temporary or permanent injuries, they are usually liable to cover the damages. At RAM Law, our attorneys can help you determine if you may be entitled to a monetary award. When we negotiate a settlement, we take current living expenses, work abilities and future needs into consideration. Our attorneys have worked with victims of dump truck accidents, semi collisions, bus crashes and many other types of accidents. We understand trucking law and other applicable laws, and we handle the paperwork and negotiations for you. For a free consultation with one of our New Jersey truck accident attorneys, please contact our New Brunswick office at (732) 247-3600 or Somerville office at (908) 448-2560.