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Aug 082013
 

Last week, a truck accident in Mercer County, New Jersey killed a young mother and her two young boys. It’s an enormous tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with the father, surviving daughter, other family members and friends.

According to at least one online news source, a tractor-trailer made an illegal u-turn on Route 1. The truck was traveling south on Route 1 (Brunswick Pike) when the truck driver made an illegal u-turn from the right lane near the Darrah Lane intersection. The truck turned directly into the path of the family’s SUV, which was traveling north, in the opposite direction.

According to law enforcement, the truck driver was lost in the area. He has been charged with three counts of death by auto (vehicular homicide). Source: www.nj.com, “”Lost’ truck driver’s illegal U-turn on Route 1 caused crash that killed woman, 2 kids, prosecutor says”

This incredible tragedy was certainly preventable. Truck drivers are often under enormous pressure to deliver their loads on time. In some cases, drivers are docked when they fail to meet deadlines. This pressure often leads to errors in judgment and risky behavior, such as speeding, using drugs to keep awake, etc.

Making an illegal u-turn is also common, especially in New Jersey, where most highways do not allow for left turns. New Jersey drivers are often required to use specially designed right turn lanes, i.e., jug handles. These jug handles often confuse out of state drivers and arguably lead to an increased risk of accidents.

Many drivers from other states frequent NJ roadways and highways, and will naturally be confused by the left turn ban. Maybe it is time for New Jersey to eliminate the left turn ban and allow drivers to turn left, with appropriate traffic signals.

From our car accident library: