New Jersey is a transportation hub on the east coast. The Garden State has New York to the north, Pennsylvania to the west, and Delaware to the south. Because of its central location on the eastern seaboard, there are many important roads that connect New Jersey to the rest of the country. Interstate 287 is one of those important roads; it is considered an auxiliary Interstate Highway in New Jersey and connects to New York.
If you’ve suffered severe injuries or the death of a loved one in an accident with a large truck, bus, or other commercial vehicle the lawyers of Reiff Law Firm’s The Truck Accident Team may be able to fight for you. To schedule a free and confidential legal consultation call call (215) 246-9000 or contact us online today.
Common Types of Truck Accidents on I-287 and throughout New Jersey
Most truck accidents can be divided into one of three categories: the first type involves the truck driver’s negligence. The second common category of truck accident stems from poor vehicle maintenance. Finally, because of their large size and inability to move in and out of traffic like a non-commercial vehicle, truck drivers are often unable to maneuver out of the way of accidents.
Some of the most common types of trucking crashes that we have noticed include:
- Rear-End Collisions – A fully loaded truck can weigh in excess of 80,000 pounds. Anybody who has ever driven a car will tell you that the faster you are going the longer it will take you to stop your car. It is also true that the heavier your vehicle is the longer it will take to stop. Therefore, when a fully loaded tractor is flying down the highway in excess of 60 miles an hour it is impossible for a tractor to come to a quick stop. Unfortunately, this often leads to rear-end collisions, which can be severe and totally destroy any vehicle in the truck’s path.
- Rollover Accidents – Rollover accidents are severe accidents that involve the truck literally rolling over. Because trucks sit higher on the road there are many different factors that can lead to a rollover truck accident. Some of the most common scenarios include fast speeds, steep inclines, and declines, taking a turn too aggressively, or even high winds.
- Jackknife Accidents – Unfortunately, jackknife accidents are fairly common with tractor-trailers. These accidents occur when a tractor-trailer drivers axle brakes lock up or seize which causes the tractor trailer to skid. Because the truck is unable to stop their massive vehicle only comes to a halt when the trailer forms a 90-degree angle with the cab.
- Truck Driver DUI – You are probably well aware that it is illegal to drink while you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In addition to the laws set for regular passenger vehicles, the law imposes strict alcohol and drug regulations for truck drivers. Unfortunately, truck drivers are people and sometimes drink and drive. While any accident that occurs because a person was driving under the influence is devastating, the effects of driving an 80,000-pound vehicle and drinking can result in even more severe consequences.
- Road Construction and lane changes – It seems that major roads are always under construction in some part or another. When there is construction on a road this can lead to dangerous conditions for tractor-trailers and those who share the road with them. As mentioned in the next section, tractor-trailers have large blind spots that make it hard for them to see any other passenger vehicles in their vicinity. Taking that into account, with the lower maneuverability and the possibility that the truck driver is negligent, road construction sites can be very dangerous places on the road.
- Blind Spot accidents – People falsely assume that because a tractor-trailer sits above the road that they are able to see everyone all around them. However, this is not the case. Tractor-trailers have large blind spots that can block out entire cars, trucks, SUV’s and even motor homes. These areas are known as No Zone areas and you might see a warning on the back of a large commercial truck indicating areas in red that a driver cannot see you. Because of these large areas blind spot accidents are fairly common as truck drivers shift lanes. Many truck drivers will tell you that if you cannot see their rearview mirrors then they cannot see you.
There are many other factors that can lead to truck accidents, including the weather, road condition, driver fatigue, and driver distraction. However, the above-mentioned accidents are some of the most common and are often some of the most devastating.
What is a Truck’s “No-Zone”?
Many people assume that because a truck sits higher on the road and the truck driver has an elevated perspective of the road, that they are able to see more on the road as compared to a passenger vehicle. However, this is not the case. In fact, there are several areas of the road that a truck driver cannot see because of the length and height of the vehicle. These areas are known as the No-zone areas. Generally, the areas behind and beside a commercial truck, where the truck driver has limited or zero visibility: the left rear quarter, the right rear quarter, and directly behind the truck are the no-zone areas. Additionally, there is a zone in front of the truck where the driver is not able to see you and your car.
It is important that if you are driving behind or on the side of a tractor-trailer that you are aware of these zones and you should attempt to avoid staying in these no-zones for too long. Because of the size and weight of a fully loaded tractor-trailer, it is hard or impossible for a tractor-trailer to come to a complete stop or for them to quickly switch lanes.
Injured in a Truck Accident on I-287 in New Jersey? Contact a Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you have been involved in a serious commercial truck accident with an 18-wheeler or other commercial truck, you may be entitled to damages. Commercial trucks large size and significant weight often mean that the injuries inflicted are significantly worse than those typically suffered in other accidents. The truck accident injury lawyers of Reiff Law Firm’s The Truck Accident Team may be able to fight for you. To schedule a free and confidential consultation call (215) 246-9000 or contact us online today.