Tractor trailers and semi-trucks are the primary modes of transporting goods in the U.S. and are essential to our economy. These large commercial vehicles are driven by trained professionals, who are subject to federal and state safety regulations. However, accidents involving these vehicles are fairly common due to the high number of trucks on the road. Among the most frequent and serious type of accident is when a truck collides with a pile-up of vehicles that are slowed or stopped ahead. To combat the problem, New Jersey is implementing a safety system designed to give commercial drivers early warnings of these hazards so they have adequate time to avoid collisions.
The new system — which the state Department of Transportation is rolling out on the New Jersey Turnpike, the Atlantic City Expressway and other major highways — sends automatic alerts to truck drivers about congestion and slowdowns on the roadway two or three miles in advance. The alerts are sent via a common driving assistance software package that is currently used by many truckers in the state. The notification is meant to allow drivers of big rigs to begin stopping even before they can see the blockage ahead.
When a tractor trailer or semi-truck collides with a line of cars or other vehicles that are standing still, serious injuries and fatalities are nearly assured. A loaded truck can weigh 80,000 pounds. The force of the impact can easily destroy many cars in the truck’s path. There are ancillary risks as well. The truck will often lose its cargo, which can be thrown out as deadly projectiles or can create additional road hazards. If the truck or another vehicle catches fire, its fuel and other flammable liquids can turn a stretch of highway into an inferno. Due to the scope of potential damages, pile-up accidents warrant special preventative measures.
The new congestion-warning system will not eliminate all such accidents but it will certainly help. If the system keeps just one semi-truck from slamming into stopped traffic, the system would be well worth the expense. These accidents cost lives, cause untold suffering and result in large amounts property damage. If you or a family member were involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer, semi-truck or other commercial vehicle, you should immediately seek the advice and counsel of an experienced truck accident attorney to protect your right to seek compensation.
Seigel Law in Ridgewood is a premier personal injury law firm, serving clients throughout Northern New Jersey, especially in Bergen, Passaic, Essex and Hudson counties. Our personal injury attorneys and the support staff are experienced and highly skilled in handling all aspects of truck crash cases. Feel free to call us at 201-444-4000 or contact us online for an initial consultation.