Every day the New Jersey Turnpike sees significant traffic. When more vehicles are on the road, the risk of a serious auto accident increases. According to a recent report from NJ 101.5, two tractor-trailers collided on the New Jersey Turnpike earlier last month, resulting in a fiery truck crash. Both trucks had been in the northbound truck lanes on the turnpike between exits 8A and 9 around East Brunswick when the accident happened. Due to the severity of the collision, authorities closed the center and right northbound truck lanes between exits 6 and 9 in order to clear away the debris from the accident.
What happened? When police arrived on the scene, they noted that “the northbound truck lanes were fully engulfed in flames immediately after the collision.” Authorities had been in the process of closing car lanes on the turnpike to prepare for construction work when the accident took place. One of the trucks involved in the crash had been carrying medical supplies and the second had been carrying both medical supplies and paper. According to the New Jersey State Police, the truck drivers of both vehicles were able to extricate themselves before sustaining any life-threatening injuries.
The intensity of the fire from the crash was so extreme that one driver in the area recalled how he “could feel the heat from the explosion while passing by the scene.” Another driver reported seeing the truck lanes “completely on fire.” Authorities continue to investigate the cause of the trucking accident, but witnesses suggest that “one of the trucks flipped over a barrier between the car and truck lanes.” Given the enormity of the fire, local businesses reported dealing with debris from the crash miles away from where the incident occurred.
Trucking Accident Causation
Why do truck accidents happen? There is no single reason that dangerous trucking collisions take place on our highways, but a study undertaken by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), points to some of the key reasons that fatal crashes occur. The researchers defined causation “in terms of the factors that are most likely to increase the risk that large trucks will be involved in serious crashes.”
According to the FMCSA, the most common causes of trucking accidents include:
- Fatigued driving;
- Driving under the influence of alcohol; and
The FMCSA study emphasized that these are not the only reasons that trucking accidents happen, but they are the “major factors” identified. Other elements found to influence the likelihood and severity of a crash included:
- Driver training;
- Driver experience;
- Driver’s familiarity with the route;
- Vehicle design;
- Vehicle manufacture;
- Conditions on the highways;
- Weather conditions, including snow and ice;
- Traffic signaling;
- Making the decision to turn into traffic; and
- Tire blowouts.
Depending on the factors involved in a truck accident, the driver may be liable for injuries caused by the accident. In some cases, you may also be able to file a claim against other persons involved in the trucking business, such as the owner of the vehicle or the loader of the truck. If you or someone you love sustained injuries in a truck accident, contact a trucking accident lawyer to learn more about your rights.