Crashes involving tractor-trailers and other large trucks can be extremely dangerous to people in smaller vehicles that are involved in the collisions. However, anyone in the vicinity can be in peril as well.
A crash on Sept. 7 in Rochelle Park, New Jersey, between a tractor-trailer and a car resulted in four injuries and sent concrete chunks into a third vehicle. The collision occurred on Route 17 just after 9:00 a.m. Both the tractor-trailer and the car, a Honda Civic, were traveling north on the highway when they collided. The truck then hit a concrete divider, which broke apart. That's how concrete ended up flying into the third vehicle.
Although the concrete damaged the car, no one inside it was injured. However, one of the people in the Civic was ejected from that vehicle. All four occupants of that car were transported to Hackensack University Medical Center.
A hazmat team was called to the scene out of concern that diesel fuel might leak from the truck when it was moved off the divider.
Police issued three citations to the 72-year-old driver of the truck for following too closely, careless driving and making an unsafe lane change. The driver was treated at the scene and declined any further medical assistance.
The combination of a shortage of commercial truck drivers and the need for people to work into their senior years to make ends meet has put more older truck drivers on the road. In fact, some companies are aggressively circuiting senior drivers. One CBS News report two years ago estimated that about 10 percent of people behind the wheel of commercial vehicles are over 65.
Drivers on New Jersey interstates and tollways frequently share the road with large commercial vehicles. When a driver of one of these massive trucks causes a crash, it may be possible to hold their employer and perhaps other entities liable in addition to the driver. This can help people who have suffered serious injuries get the compensation they need for medical care, rehabilitation and other expenses. It's essential to explore all of your legal options.