Sadly, truck accidents are a widespread problem in New Jersey and throughout the United States. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) reports that in 2010 alone, large-truck crashes led to 529 truck occupant deaths, 2,790 passenger vehicle occupant deaths, and 356 non-occupant deaths among pedestrians and other victims. With over 2,240,000 trucks registered in the state of New Jersey alone, the potential for accidents is high – especially on crowded and congested roadways like Route 30, Route 40, and Route 47.
If you or one of your loved ones was seriously injured in a truck accident involving a commercial truck or passenger truck, personal injury lawyer Joseph Lombardo may be able to help you get compensated for your pain, suffering, expenses, and financial losses. Joseph is an aggressive litigator with more than two decades of experience helping injury victims and their loved ones fight for compensation and accountability. Joseph will handle the legal work and walk you through the process, so that you can feel confident your rights are being protected and your accident is being investigated in detail.
Joseph offers free initial consultations, and will keep your information confidential. To set up your free appointment with Joseph, call Lombardo Law at (800) 930-3241 any time of day or evening.
Trucker Fatigue and FMCSA Hourly Driving Limits
The commercial trucking industry is absolutely vital to the U.S. economy. As a result, truck drivers are under tremendous pressure to complete fast journeys with quick turnarounds. Unfortunately for other motorists who share the road with commercial trucks, this pressure to perform leads to countless accidents caused by tired or sleeping drivers who intentionally exceed federally mandated limits on driving hours. In fact, this phenomenon is so common it even has its own name: trucker fatigue.
In December of 2014, the DOT reported that “Nearly 4,000 people die in large truck crashes each year and driver fatigue is a leading factor,” and multiple studies have documented the tragic and destructive effects of drowsy driving in detail. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has uncovered some particularly alarming data, with one NHTSA study reporting that among “1,456 adult drivers surveyed by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) in fall 2004, 60% reported that they had driven while feeling drowsy at least once within the past year. Further, 37% said they had ‘nodded off or fallen asleep’ while driving a vehicle at least once in their life.” Drowsy driving is a common cause of car accidents and motorcycle accidents, and the problem is magnified even further within the commercial trucking industry.
In an effort to combat the problem, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes strict limits which restrict the length of commercial truckers’ driving shifts. The limits apply to interstate truckers whose trucks (or truck-tractors with trailers) either weigh more than 10,000 pounds or are transporting large quantities of hazardous materials.
Unfortunately, legislators continually attempt to increase and weaken these crucially important limits, effectively placing economic concerns over the safety of the general public. In fact, in December of 2014 – around the same time the DOT wrote that trucker fatigue contributes to around 4,000 fatalities each year – the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 “suspend[ed] enforcement of requirements for use of the 34-hour restart.” The FMCSA also suspended the previous requirement for the restart of a driver’s 60- or 70-hour limit.
Of course, it isn’t only commercial truck drivers or trucker fatigue which cause devastating accidents. Crashes and collisions with private passenger trucks can also result in wrongful death and catastrophic injuries, whether the cause of the accident is reckless driving, aggressive driving, distracted driving, driver negligence, intoxicated driving (DUI), or other problems. Common injuries include:
- Bone Fractures and Broken Bones
- Dismemberment and Limb Amputations
- Internal Bleeding
- Organ Damage
- Scarring and Disfigurement
- Severe Burn Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Injury Attorney Joseph Lombardo Offers Free Consultations
When complete and blatant disregard for basic road safety laws leads to property damage, serious injuries, or wrongful death, the victim may be entitled to compensation. Compensation can help to cover your medical bills, make up for income you lost while you were out of work recovering from your injuries, and keep you and your loved ones more comfortable while you recuperate.
If you or one of your loved ones were hurt by a passenger truck driver or commercial truck driver who was breaking the law, you deserve to have the circumstances of your accident investigated by an attorney. Even if you aren’t quite sure whether you have a personal injury claim, please do not hesitate to call truck accident lawyer Joseph Lombardo at (800) 930-3241 to discuss your accident in a free and confidential legal consultation. Our phone lines are always open.