New Jersey is home to many busy highways and complex road systems, and sadly, truck accidents are not uncommon here. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that 3,772 crashes involving trucks occurred in The Garden State in 2022.
In Essex County, where things are especially crowded, certain roads have gained a reputation for being risky.
Dangerous roads in Essex County
Essex County has major highways like I-280, I-78 and the Garden State Parkway. While these roads are important for business, they also pose challenges for truck drivers. Urban areas like Newark, with their congestion and tight turns, can be especially tricky. The mix of big trucks and smaller cars adds to the risk, creating a situation where accidents can easily happen.
Top causes of truck accidents
Truck accidents can happen for many reasons.
- Driver fatigue. Truck drivers spending long hours on the road can get very tired, slowing down their reactions and decision-making
- Speeding and carelessness. The pressure to stick to tight schedules can make truckers drive too fast, increasing the chances of accidents
- Poor truck maintenance. Trucks that are not properly taken care of can have mechanical issues, like problems with brakes or tires, which can lead to accidents
- Distracted driving. Distractions, like using phones and eating, can take a truck driver’s attention away from the road and cause delayed reactions to dangers
- Bad weather. New Jersey has various weather conditions, from snow to heavy rain. Trucks might struggle to drive safely in these conditions.
No matter the cause, truck accidents often have serious consequences.
Injuries and damage
New Jersey truck accidents caused 2,300 injuries in 2022. People in smaller vehicles involved in these crashes are very likely to get hurt. Because trucks are so big and heavy, the impact in a collision often produces severe injuries and extensive property damage.
It is not only the vehicles that get damaged; things like guardrails and road signs might need expensive repairs, too.
Tips for avoiding truck accidents
To steer clear of truck accidents, you must stay alert while driving. Maintain a safe distance behind trucks, allowing enough space for sudden stops. Avoid blind spots by staying visible in their mirrors.
Be cautious when merging, giving trucks ample room. Steer clear of distractions, like texting, to ensure you give your full attention to the road. Respect speed limits, especially in adverse weather. Keep a watchful eye on turn signals, anticipating truck movements.