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Large trucks: outsized safety nemesis on New Jersey roadways

| May 26, 2021 | Motor vehicle crashes

Ascertaining the outcome in virtually any New Jersey accident involving a large commercial truck and a smaller passenger vehicle is a no-brainer, isn’t it?

Because size matters. “A car is no match for a semi tractor-trailer when the two collide,” duly notes one New Jersey legal source addressing crashes involving big rigs.

That overview underscores a two-pronged reality concerning truck-car collisions, namely this: The sheer size and weight of 18-wheel conveyances and other outsized configurations involved in crashes commonly yields catastrophic consequences, and most of the downsides target drivers and other occupants in passenger vehicles.

Spotlighting New Jersey’s concerning motor vehicle crash rate

There is no way to sugarcoat the alarming trend and dire numbers tied to adverse roadway outcomes across New Jersey. A recent state media publication highlights a troubling conclusion relevant to last year that safety regulators are both puzzled over and determined to do something about.

It emphasizes this:  Fatal vehicle crashes in the state during 2020 spiked 5% from 2019, despite discernibly less traffic owing to the health pandemic. New Jersey officials report 522 deadly crashes last year.

Unsurprisingly, truck crashes played a prominent role in accident outcomes. That was similarly the case all across the country, as noted below.

How common – and deadly – are crashes involving big trucks?

Frankly, it’s hard to overestimate the roadway peril posed by large trucks involved in roadway accidents. Here are a few relevant data bits concerning fatal truck accident outcomes from 2018 to consider, culled by federal safety regulators:

  • 4,100-plus fatal crash victims
  • 31% spike in deaths from one decade earlier
  • Occupants in passenger vehicles comprising stunning 96% total of fatal victims in truck-car crashes
  • The bigger the involved rig, the deadlier the outcome (tractor-trailers involved in about three-quarters of all truck crash fatalities)
  • Fatalities occurring on corridors ranging from interstate freeways to minor roads
  • Fatal accidents occurring at all times of the day
  • Truck driver error and/or impairment a catalyst in many deadly crashes

Common – and often catastrophic – truck crash injuries

Even when truck crashes don’t spur deadly results, they often yield serious injuries like the following for accident victims:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Neck, back and spinal cord injuries
  • Contusions and broken bones
  • Whiplash
  • Burns
  • Paralysis

Post-crash complexity often reigns in the wake of a truck crash. Accountability can be broadly shared among multiple negligent parties. Insurers often prove resistant. Accurate accident reconstruction is an imperative. Time is of the essence when filing a legal complaint.

Crash victims can take a purposeful and empowered stance in an injury-inducing truck accident case. They can turn to a proven and compassionate personal injury legal team for help in doing that.