The series of winter storm systems that have swept through New Jersey in February have created new hazards for truck drivers. A trucker traveling on the New Jersey Turnpike recently had a close call when a large sheet of snow became dislodged from the roof of an 18-wheeler in front of him.
According to the truck driver, the mass of snow from the truck in front of him came crashing into his windshield, resulting in glass flying into his face and almost causing him to lose control of his vehicle. He stated that he has been driving a truck for a living for six years and has never experienced a situation like this. Unfortunately, he was unable to flag down the other driver.
New Jersey law on ice and snow removal
There is a law in New Jersey requiring drivers to remove snow and ice from their vehicles before going out on the road, including the hood, windows and roof. Not only does snow and ice on the vehicle reduce visibility and maneuverability, when it becomes dislodged and hits other vehicles while in motion poses a significant risk to other drivers.
Fines range from $25 to $75 for each citation, whether or not the snow and ice become dislodged, to $200 to $1,000 if the flying ice or snow causes property damage or injury to another driver. There are an estimated 500 fatalities annually from adverse road conditions due to snow and ice.
Negligence in New Jersey
New Jersey follows the doctrine of contributory negligence in a personal injury suit, meaning that the injured party must convince a jury that they are less at fault for causing an accident than the other party. As a comparative negligence state, a plaintiff in New Jersey whose fault for causing the accident is greater than 50% cannot seek restitution from the other party.
To prove that the other driver was negligent, the plaintiff must show that the defendant had a duty of care to other drivers on the road, that there was a breach of that duty which cause the actual or proximate injury or damages to the plaintiff.
Compensation after an accident
Truckers face daily hazards on the road due to the nature of their work, which puts them at increased danger for catastrophic injury or death. The reckless or negligent actions of another driver can change the course of a trucker’s life in an instant. It is important to have experienced personal injury lawyers serving New Jersey and New York to work on your behalf to recover the maximum compensation that you deserve.