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Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy LLC
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The Danger of Unsecured Loads and Jackknifed Tractor-Trailers

According to media reports, three members of a Georgia family were tragically killed when their Toyota Camry was crushed by a tractor-trailer on the New Jersey Turnpike in Mount Laurel, Burlington County. The terrible four-vehicle accident occurred this past December and caused the turnpike’s southbound lane to be closed for more than five hours. Police said it appeared the tractor-trailer jackknifed, striking and pushing the Camry into another tractor-trailer.

Accidents involving tractor-trailers are often serious and result in fatalities. There is a particular danger of unsecured and imbalanced loads of cargo which can shift and cause the truck to tip and roll over. While tractor-trailers do have large holding capacities, they are prone to overturn when the capacity is exceeded. Heavy hanging cargo, particularly hanging meat, can begin to sway, making handling the truck very difficult. Improperly secured cargo can also spill onto the highway causing accidents as other vehicles swerve to avoid falling debris. Drivers and passengers from other vehicles can be seriously injured when their vehicles are struck by the fallen cargo.

There is a large amount of commercial traffic on New Jersey’s highways. It is not uncommon to hear about jackknifed tractor- trailers on the New Jersey Turnpike. Drivers and passengers who are injured in an accident involving a jackknifed tractor trailer should retain an experienced legal representation as early as possible. An experienced truck accident attorney can investigate the cause of the crash to ascertain if the tractor-trailer exceeded its weight limit, or was carrying material that was not properly loaded by the trucking company.

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