What Happens After a Low Clearance Truck Accident

Posted June 9th, 2015 by .

Categories: Auto Accidents.

low-clearance-truck-accidents-anthony-carboneThe average driver does not necessarily pay attention to the signs.  However, most truckers are on the lookout for height warning signage as they drive through bridges, tunnels, and overpasses.  Unfortunately, low clearance truck accidents can represent more than just an inconvenience.  They can be responsible for devastating personal injury and even fatalities.  They also account for thousands of dollars in property and structural damage.

Yesterday’s accident on Route 3 in Rutherford held up rush hour traffic for several hours.  According to news reports, a tractor-trailer was too tall to pass through an overpass at Orient Way.  The impact as the vehicle hit the top was so strong that it caused the shipping container to come unfastened.   It landed on a passing vehicle.  There was at least one fatality as a result of the accident.  Unfortunately, this was not the first accident of this nature on this roadway.

The New Jersey Department of Transportation has designed a map to assist certain truck drivers with determining their route.  In particular, it shows designated travel routes for 102-inch wide trucks and double-trailer truck combinations.  However, this information does not contain information about the various low clearance bridges and overpasses throughout the state.

How do big rig drivers plan their routes and avoid low clearance accidents?  Many use global positioning system (GPS) devices and set them up for commercial routes.  In theory, this should work.  However, it comes as no surprise that GPS devices are not infallible.  Generally, signage for low clearance is the most accurate.  The problem is that the warnings often come too late.  The truck driver may be suddenly faced with a situation where there is no turning back.

Avoid Low Clearance Accidents

Road familiarity is sometimes a luxury to tractor-trailer drivers.  Although many are accustomed to taking the same route on a regular basis, this is not necessarily the norm.  Here are some suggestions that may help avoid these types of incidents:

  • Make sure GPS software is up-to-date
  • Work with a paper road atlas that has clear markings for truckers
  • Research the route before you head out to the road
  • If possible, ask for directions and emphasis the height of your vehicle
  • Pay attention to all signage and flashing lights

Contact Us

If you are injured in an accident because of a low clearance truck accident, we want to help you.  The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone handles all personal injury cases and has extensive experience.  There is no charge for meeting with us.  Contact us at 201 963-6000 to schedule an appointment.

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