NJ Trucker Negligence Accident Lawyers
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Victim of Truck Driver Negligence in New Jersey?
The size and weight of some large trucks can cause great damage and injury when they crash. Big rig drivers must make sure they have the appropriate training and licensing, handle their vehicle with care and caution at all times, remain alert and practice safe driving habits. In New Jersey truck accidents where the truck is the originating vehicle of the incident, driver behavior is the number one cause of crashes and the injury and deaths that can result. Large truck operators have a duty to keep the road safe by practicing safe driving habits.
Drivers must obtain and keep commercial driver's licenses, and they must maintain the appropriate endorsements for the type of cargo they will haul and the type of truck they will drive. When drivers fail to keep themselves properly trained and licensed, they put others at risk.
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Speeding Trucks in New Jersey
Speeding is by far the most common negligent behavior of truck drivers. Pressure to deliver goods as quickly as possible in addition to long hours on the road can make it tempting to push past the speed limit. Speed limits are designed to keep vehicles at a manageable speed. When drivers blatantly disregard the posted limit, they risk losing control of the vehicle, especially if they need to make evasive maneuvers. Even when traveling at or under the posted speed limit, drivers need to adjust speeds to stay safe if road conditions change. Failure to recognize and respond to worsening road conditions can lead to a catastrophic accident.
Inattention can be deadly. State law does not allow drivers to use cell phones without a hands free device or text while driving. Even reaching for a coffee or a sandwich can take a driver's attention off the road long enough to cause an accident. Since large trucks are considerably more difficult to handle than cars, these minor distractions can have major consequences.
Truck Driver Fatigue
Sleep deprivation is a common problem for long haul drivers. New Jersey is home to a main East Coast north to south trucking corridor, Interstate 95, and long haul drivers come through our state all day and night. Lack of sleep can impair judgment and reaction time as much as alcohol or drugs can.
While it is obvious that truck drivers should not operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated, it is more difficult to judge whether a person is too tired to drive. This is why there are strict laws about hours of service. These laws make it mandatory for drivers to take breaks from driving, take days off and log all hours to ensure they are following the rules. They are designed to limit the chance of a trucker driving while fatigued.
A fatigued truck driver is more prone to causing a crash than a rested driver is, and that effect can be cumulative. When a tired driver takes a few hours off but does not get enough rest, sleep deprivation can start to add up. Driving while tired can be equally as dangerous as driving drunk. Studies show that driver fatigue impairs driving ability as much as a couple of drinks does.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires drivers to keep logs of many of their responsibilities including hours of service and maintenance checks. When driver negligence is at the core of major large truck accidents in New Jersey, these logs can provide valuable evidence or a telling lack of evidence.
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The New Jersey truck driver negligence attorneys at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. have the knowledge, skills and resources to fight for you and your family. Call us today at (609) 240-0040 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your truck hit and run, jackknife, underride collision or other vehicle crash case.
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