Are more regulations needed to reduce truck accidents?

Although commercial and industrial trucking serves an important role in interstate commerce and business operations, a recent accident on the New Jersey Turnpike poses the question of whether economic gain is being promoted at the expense of safety to drivers.

Specifically, a truck overturned on the southbound side of the turnpike on a recent Tuesday morning, closing lanes of traffic for hours. The truck then caught fire underneath an overpass where it came to rest. Local authorities closed down seven traffic lanes in both directions after the crash because they were concerned that the fire may have weakened the support structures of the overpass. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Admittedly, this truck accident was a perfect storm for stopping traffic, due to the overpass involved. However, the sheer size of trucks can translate into serious injuries in the event of an accident. When such an accident involves a passenger vehicle, it’s not difficult to predict that the smaller vehicle and its occupants will usually fare much worse.

Lawmakers recognize that an extra degree of care may be required when driving commercial trucks, due to their size. For that reason, truckers usually must have a special driver’s license. Yet the sufficiency of other safety regulations, such as those regarding the maximum length of a truck driver’s work week and mandatory rest breaks, may be less certain.

Our law firm focuses on motor vehicle accident litigation, including truck accidents. We have experience investigating for evidence of negligence, such as semi or tractor-trailer accidents caused by improper vehicle maintenance, defective equipment or driver fatigue. Check out our firm’s website to learn more about the wide range of truck accident situations that can arise.