I-78 is a popular roadway in New Jersey that runs for 67.83 miles running from east to west across the state. This road stretches from Union Township, Lebanon County Pennsylvania to New York City. This interstate highway is heavily traveled and at points widens to be a six-lane freeway. It is easy to see why this road can be the source of many accidents involving tractor-trailers and truck drivers. In addition to this road offering a direct route from New York City across the state, there are also at least twelve designated truck stops along this road. There have been several significant accidents on I-78 including a massive pileup involving 64 cars that halted traffic for over 16 hours.
Common Types of Truck Accidents on I-78 and throughout New Jersey
Most truck accidents can be divided into one of three categories: the first involves the truck driver being negligent in some form. The second common category of truck accidents 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 truck accidents that we have noticed include:
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.
Unfortunately, jackknife accidents are fairly common with tractor-trailers. These accidents occur when a tractor-trailer driver 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.
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.
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, SUVs, 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.
If You Were Injured in a Truck Accident on NJ I-78, Our Attorneys Can Help
If you have suffered severe injuries or the death of a loved one in an accident with a large truck, bus, or other commercial vehicles the lawyers of Reiff Law Firm may be able to fight for you. To schedule a free and confidential legal consultation call (215) 246-9000 or contact us online today.