Dangers on New Jersey’s Roads

Mercer County was the location of six of New Jersey’s 60 fatalities from large truck accidents in 2013.

Motorists in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, should be educated about the dangers that large trucks pose to pedestrians, motorcyclists and other motorists every day. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration maintains detailed records about fatal traffic accidents. Its state-based data from 2013 indicates that 542 people died in vehicle accidents in New Jersey that year. Of those, 60 people died in accidents involving large trucks.

A closer look at the numbers shows the danger in Mercer County:

  • In Middlesex County, eight people lost their lives in large truck collisions.
  • Mercer and Atlantic Counties each experienced six fatalities in crashes involving large commercial trucks.
  • Five truck accident fatalities were recorded in Morris County.
  • In Union, Ocean and Bergen Counties, four people each died.

Middlesex County was the only county in New Jersey to experience more truck-related deaths than Mercer County. If these numbers are going to change dramatically, New Jersey residents must hope that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association can help.

How to reduce impairment among truckers

According to the Commercial Carrier Journal, the FMCSA is expected to launch a new database and accompanying set of requirements for hiring new drivers in the coming months.

The database will be used to report information about drug and alcohol test results as well as any impaired driving offenses. Drivers must pass substance tests or they will not be allowed to drive commercially. This means that anyone who refuses to take these tests will not be able to be hired for driving jobs. Even after a driver has been hired, employers will be required to check the database records once per year thereafter.

The FMCSA is also engaging in random tests of drivers for drug or alcohol use while driving. A high rate of test failures has led the agency to continue this practice according to the Bulk Transporter.

How to reduce fatigue among truckers

Truck drivers are understandably prone to becoming fatigued on the job. However, that does not make accidents caused by this acceptable. The FMCSA tried to institute new rules regarding the break and rest times of drivers but the effort was met with stringent resistance.

Supply Chain Digest explains that the uproar led Congress to put the new rules on hold until the FMCSA could conduct more research. This was originally supposed to be done by late September but OverdriveOnline.com indicates it could take longer.

What can be done?

New Jersey residents may have to wait before new changes are able to make the roads safer. In the meantime, they should always be ready and willing to call an attorney if involved in a large truck accident.