People in New Jersey may already know that drivers of semi-trucks must follow federal regulations that dictate how long they can be on the road before having to take a rest break. These "hours of service" regulations are meant to prevent drowsy driving. They are especially important because the sheer size difference between a semi-truck and a standard automobile is so great that, if the trucker falls asleep behind the wheel and causes a commercial vehicle accident, it is the occupants of the other vehicle that can wind up seriously injured or even killed.
Not everyone in New Jersey owns a car, or even wants to drive on our state's congested streets and highways. Some people prefer to take the bus to get from point A to point B. Sometimes these bus trips are short commutes across town, while other times they are longer journeys from New Jersey to another state. And, school buses and tour buses also make an appearance in New Jersey.
It is easy to see why a collision in New Jersey involving a large commercial vehicle such as a semi-truck can cause catastrophic damage. After all, these trucks can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. Such a massive vehicle has the laws of physics on its side in an accident, and can easily total a standard automobile, injuring or killing those inside.
Dump trucks and other commercial vehicles are a common sight on highways. People expect that the operators of commercial trucks will take extra care to drive safely. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and devastating commercial vehicle accidents occur far too often.
Federal statistics indicate that traffic fatalities were down last year in the United States. According to recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 1.8 percent fewer deaths from motor vehicles crashes out on the nation’s roads in 2017 than was the case in 2016. This trend of lowered fatalities was also seen in a wide range of different types of traffic crashes, including pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents and car accidents.