A New Jersey resident was recently killed when their car collided with a dump truck on I-78 in Berkeley Heights. According to ABC7, the truck lost control, broke through a barrier and hit the other vehicle when it was driving in the opposite direction.
For New York drivers involved in accidents with commercial vehicles, these accidents often prove deadly. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHSHLDI) states that when passenger vehicles are involved in accidents with large trucks, it is usually those in the non-commercial vehicles that suffer fatalities. Of the nearly 4,000 truck crashes that resulted in a fatality in 2016, 66 percent of deaths were people in passenger vehicles, and 16 percent were people on bikes, walking or on motorcycles.
Trucks are heavier and taller than other vehicles
Not only are trucks as much as 20 to 30 times heavier, but trucks also have more ground clearance. This can lead to an underride accident, which is when a smaller vehicle passes under the back of the truck.
Large trucks react differently than passenger vehicles
Though it is clearly not always the case, often passenger vehicles are at fault for accidents with commercial trucks. Some drivers may not realize large trucks need a longer time to react incidents on the road. This is particularly true if a commercial truck is carrying a large load of cargo.
To help protect yourself and those around you, here are some ways to more safely share the road with a commercial truck:
- Do not change lanes right in front of truck
- Do not pull out in front of a large truck without accelerating properly
- Do not drive between two large trucks
- Do not pass in front of truck without plenty of room in front of the truck
- Do not try speed up to try to prevent a truck from merging in front of you
- Do not ride too close to a large truck. You may be in a blind spot.
- Do not turn right in front of an oncoming truck
Generally, it takes a commercial truck much longer to speed up and slow down because the vehicles are much heavier. Giving these vehicles extra time and berth on the road may lead to a much safer driving experience for you and your passengers.