According to the United States Department of Labor, driving an 18-wheeler is a dangerous profession, resulting in 835 fatal injuries in 2014. The Department of Labor further reports that in 2014, heavy and tractor-trailer drivers resulted in 725 fatalities, the most fatalities since 2008.
Types of 18-Wheeler Accidents
There are many different types of accidents caused by 18-wheeler trucks, including:
- Driver Negligence: When it comes to 18-wheelers, driver negligence can take on many forms ranging from a distracted driver to an individual who operates a big rig under the influence of alcohol or prescription medication. If you are involved in a collision with an 18-wheeler, an experienced New jersey injury lawyer can review your case and confirm whether or not the truck driver was negligent and responsible for your damages and injuries.
- Falling Equipment: When a driver does not adequately secure equipment such as traffic cones or safety flags, the equipment can fall from the 18-wheeler, causing dangerous road debris for New Jersey drivers.
- Driver Fatigue: A study by the American Transportation Research Institute of the American Trucking Associations reports that 28 percent of commercial truck drivers have mild to severe sleep apnea, a disorder that disrupts breathing during sleep. Because sleep apnea disrupts not only a truck driver’s sleep cycle but also their ability to stay awake and alert while driving, this medical disorder must be properly treated.
- Weather-Related Accidents: If you drive in and around New Jersey, you understand the ever-changing weather conditions that cause treacherous roads, including more than three feet of winter snow, rain and fog. A loaded semi-truck can take 20 to 40 percent longer to stop and any weather condition that affects the road conditions can result in fatal accidents.
- Braking Issues: Brake issues can result from faulty equipment as well as a failure of the truck driver or trucking company to properly inspect braking equipment. Faulty brakes include:
- Excessive use or overheating that causes the pad material to break down and harden
- Rust in the emergency brake cable causing a failure of the brake cable system
Most New Jersey 18-wheelers weigh 20 to 30 times more than passenger vehicles not including the weight of their cargo load. When a semi-truck experiences braking difficulties, it causes fatal or life altering injuries for vehicle drivers and passengers alike.
Speak to a New Jersey Injury Attorney as Soon as Possible
Even a minor collision with an 18-wheeler results in serious and even life threatening injuries and disabilities. If you or a loved one are involved in any type of accident involving a semi-tractor trailer, it is important to speak to an experienced injury lawyer. The team at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. understands the types of accidents caused by truck drivers and faulty trucking equipment and they will fight to make sure you receive all of the compensation you deserve to compensate you for your injuries.