Flying Steel Beams Injure Drivers in New Jersey Tractor Trailer Crash

Two tractor trailers were involved in a serious wreck on the New Jersey Highway in Paramus, New Jersey on Feb. 22, leaving two car drivers with non-life-threatning injuries.

According to the driver of one of the big rigs, his brakes locked as he slowed for traffic on the highway near Farview Avenue. The truck was disabled at that point and he turned on his hazard lights and called his supervisor for assistance.

Another truck carrying steel beams weighing thousands of pounds, moved to the center of the highway at the same time the truck in front of him stopped. The driver tried to avoid the truck but he hit the rear of the cargo bed and then the center median.

Serious truck crash in Baltimore MD.
Serious truck crash in New Jersey.

The crash caused the steel beams to break free of their restraints on the tractor trailer and spill onto the northbound lanes. One of the beams weighing 2500 pounds hit a 2014 Toyota, totaling it. The driver suffered serious injuries in the truck crash but is expected to live.

Another steel beam also hit a 2005 Ford. The driver was not seriously injured but he complained of chest and back pain.

Our View

Truck crashes are a very serious public health and safety problem in America. Approximately 4000 people die in big rig crashes each year. More than 100,000 people are hurt each year as well.

One thing that could make a big difference in reducing tractor trailer crashes would be having automatic emergency braking on all tractor trailers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has studied rear end truck crashes. Tractor trailers are the striking vehicle in 32,000 crashes per year, killing an average of 300 and injuring 15,000 annually. The agency states that with automatic braking systems in place on big rigs, nearly 60% of injuries and fatalities could be prevented.

Our tractor trailer accident attorneys in Virginia and North Carolina would like to see all tractor trailers equipped with automatic emergency braking systems as soon as possible. These systems could prevent many fatal rear end tractor trailer wrecks.

We settled a rear end tractor trailer wreck lawsuit in 2010 where our client’s vehicle was rear ended on I-64 in Virginia. The car was going slowly after a tire problem.

A tractor trailer slammed into it at high speed, killing our client in the resulting fire. The trucker admitted he did not see the vehicle until the last second. If that truck had been equipped with automatic emergency braking, the accident might have been prevented. The rear end tractor trailer crash case ended in a $3.5 million settlement, but we would like to see all of these accidents prevented instead.