Common Causes Of Truck Accidents In New Jersey

Truck accidents happen for many reasons. They might be caused by bad weather, poor road conditions, inattentive drivers, or even malfunctioning equipment. Unpacking these factors and understanding what caused your truck accident, though, are the crucial first steps in holding negligent parties accountable and securing the compensation you deserve.

So what are some of the most common causes of truck accidents? Let’s explore them now.

Driver-Related Factors

Truck accidents in New Jersey often stem from critical driver-related factors, including fatigue, speeding, and distractions:

  • Fatigue: Despite strict hours-of-service regulations, driver fatigue remains a significant problem, likened to impairment by alcohol or drugs. This condition drastically reduces reaction times and decision-making capabilities, increasing the risk of severe accidents.
  • Speeding: Speeding exacerbates the potential for accidents, particularly given the size and weight of trucks. Excessive speed limits the driver’s ability to react to sudden traffic changes or road conditions, often leading to catastrophic collisions.
  • Distractions: Distracted driving, including the use of mobile devices, adjusting navigation systems, or other in-cab activities, severely impairs driver awareness and reaction time, making it a leading cause of accidents.

Vehicle Maintenance and Safety Compliance

Mechanical failures due to improper vehicle maintenance — such as brake failures, tire blowouts, and steering malfunctions — can also lead to devastating consequences on the roads. Regular and thorough maintenance is not only a regulatory requirement but a critical safety measure to prevent such failures. Non-compliance with maintenance standards significantly increases the likelihood of accidents and resultant legal liabilities.

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Importance of Regular Maintenance

Trucks are complex machines that undergo significant wear and tear during their daily operations. Regular maintenance is vital for identifying and addressing potential safety hazards before they cause accidents. This includes routine inspections of critical components such as brakes, tires, steering systems, and lighting.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established regulations that dictate the minimum maintenance standards for commercial trucks. These regulations require truck owners and operators to perform systematic inspections, repairs, and maintenance to ensure their vehicles are in safe operating condition.

Failure to adhere to these regulations can result in serious legal consequences for truck drivers, owners, and companies. If a maintenance issue causes an accident, these parties may be held liable for the resulting damages and injuries.

Common Mechanical Failures

Several common mechanical failures can lead to devastating truck accidents in New Jersey. These include:

  • Brake failures: Faulty or poorly maintained brakes can prevent a truck from stopping safely, leading to rear-end collisions or other serious accidents.
  • Tire blowouts: Worn or improperly inflated tires can explode while the truck is in motion, causing the driver to lose control and potentially crash into other vehicles.
  • Steering system malfunctions: Issues with the steering system can make it difficult or impossible for the driver to control the truck, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Lighting problems: Malfunctioning headlights, taillights, or turn signals can make it difficult for other drivers to see the truck, especially at night or in poor weather conditions.
  • Trailer attachment issues: Improperly secured trailers can detach from the truck, creating a hazard for other vehicles on the road.

These mechanical failures can be prevented through proper maintenance and inspections. When truck owners and operators fail to address these issues, they put everyone on the road at risk.

Legal and Regulatory Compliance

Adherence to safety regulations and legal standards is paramount in reducing the risk of truck accidents. These include speed limits, mandatory rest periods, and vehicle maintenance protocols.

Non-compliance can lead to severe penalties, including fines, license suspensions, or more severe consequences if negligence results in an accident. In cases of non-compliance leading to accidents, trucking companies and drivers may face significant legal actions, emphasizing the need for rigorous enforcement of safety measures.

The Aftermath of a Crash: Seeking Justice

Truck accidents can have devastating consequences for victims and their families, often resulting in severe injuries, emotional trauma, and financial hardship. By understanding the top causes of these crashes, you can better protect your rights and your financial future.

At Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq, our experienced attorneys specialize in truck accident cases and are committed to fighting for the maximum compensation our clients deserve. Contact us online or call 1-800-923-3456 to learn how we can help you after your truck collision.


Driver fatigue is the most common cause of truck accidents. This often occurs because commercial truck drivers may work longer than the legally allowed hours, leading to increased tiredness and a greater chance of accidents.

Rear-end collisions are the most frequent type of accident in the trucking industry. These often happen due to truck drivers being distracted, speeding, or following too closely behind other vehicles. Factors like impaired driving and driver fatigue also contribute to these types of accidents.

In New Jersey, distracted driving is a major cause of vehicular accidents. Activities such as using mobile devices, eating, or adjusting the radio while driving greatly increase the risk of accidents, highlighting the importance of focused driving.

Careless and unsafe driving practices are the leading causes of death among truck drivers. The top three risks identified by the CDC include not wearing a seatbelt, drowsy driving, and distracted driving.

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