New Jersey motorists see their share of 18-wheelers everywhere, on interstates, highways and rural roads. Truckers are professional drivers, but they spend long hours behind the wheel and accidents happen.
What are the common causes of truck-related crashes and what are the consequences?
A little background
Data from the United States Department of Transportation shows that 537,504 truck-related crashes occurred in the U.S. in 2019. The Department only records those accidents resulting in injury, death or property damage. There were likely many more crashes that were not reported to the police.
Causes of truck-related crashes
There are many causes of large truck crashes, including:
- Poor weather conditions that affect visibility
- Poor road conditions
- Large animals such as deer that cross the road suddenly
- Driver fatigue
- Overloaded cargo
- Failure of brakes or other components
- Distracted driving or reckless driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Injuries as a consequence
In a truck-car crash, the occupants of the smaller vehicle will almost always suffer injuries. The severity will depend on the size of the vehicles, the speed of both vehicles at the moment of impact, whether those involved were wearing seat belts and whether airbags deployed. The victim of a truck-car accident might suffer injuries to the spine or spinal cord, crushing injuries, paralysis, loss of limb, burn injuries, traumatic brain injury and permanent disability.
A case involving a large truck is complex. Multiple parties may share liability for the crash: the truck driver, the trucking company, the company that maintains the truck and perhaps others. As a consequence, the victim has the right to expect maximum compensation from all parties to cover current and future medical expenses, pain and suffering and more.