The New Jersey Turnpike was closed to traffic in the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 19, as cleanup from a four-vehicle accident extended over the course of several hours. Vehicles involved in the accident, which occurred around 3 o’clock in the morning, included two tractor-trailer trucks, a tour bus with no passengers on board, and a car. As a result of the accident, one of the trucks burst into flames, allegedly sparked by paint carried in one of the tractor trailers. Although foggy weather conditions apparently played a part in the collision of the second tractor trailer and the car into the other two vehicles, the cause of the collision between the first truck and the tour bus remains unclear.
NJ Tractor Trailer Weight Regulations
Apparently only minor injuries were sustained as a result of this relatively large-scale accident. However, many state and federal laws regulate the operation of commercial motor vehicles on our highways and other roads in order to help avoid incidents like this one, since trucking accidents can pose a serious risk to both truck drivers and those around them on the roads. Particularly stringent regulations apply when trucks are carrying hazardous materials, as well as for trucks with weight ratings of over 10,000 pounds, as these types of vehicles generally pose the greatest threats to the safety of drivers around them.
FMCSA Regulations for Semi-Truck Drivers
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations govern many different aspects of the use of our roadways by commercial drivers, including regulations restricting the number of hours commercial drivers may drive at once (49 CFR 395), required amounts of rest during the course of operating a commercial vehicle (49 CFR 40), drug and alcohol testing for drivers (49 CFR 382) and proper inspection, repair, and maintenance of commercial vehicles (49 CFR 395), among many other applicable regulations. If the drivers of any of the commercial vehicles involved in this accident, or the motor carriers responsible for those vehicles, violated applicable federal or state laws in ways that contributed to this accident, they could face liability to anyone injured as a result of the accident, even in the case of relatively minor injuries.