Accidents involving tractor-trailers are a problem across the United States and New York is no exception. Because of the trucks' large size, many of the accidents result in serious injuries or fatalities. This is especially true when semis collide with smaller vehicles that are not built to sustain high-velocity impacts.
According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 12,545 trucking accidents in New York in 2008, 105 of which were fatal. Unfortunately, the odds are often stacked against truck drivers: their ability to avoid accidents is often impacted by the size of their rigs and the sleep deprivation associated with long hauls.
Driving a Truck Safely
Because even a small mistake can cause a serious accident, it is important for truck drivers to follow basic safety procedures at all times.
For example, the New York DMV recommends that drivers use a helper to back up safely and slow down when approaching a hill or curve in the road. The DMV also provides guidelines for proper vehicle inspections, such as testing for hydraulic leaks and checking dashboard instruments.
It is also important for drivers to consider factors such as the weight of their trucks and road conditions. For example, it can take much longer to stop when carrying a full load than when traveling empty and rain, snow, ice, and wind can influence the way in which a truck handles.
Driving Around Trucks
While truck drivers can help prevent accidents by following safety guidelines, other drivers can also help by staying alert. For example, blind spots can prevent a truck driver from seeing a small vehicle to his left or right, and staying out of those blind spots may prevent accidents.
Large trucks are common on our crowded roadways and not all truck drivers take the precautions necessary to prevent accidents. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident involving a tractor-trailer or other large truck, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. A lawyer experienced in handling truck accident cases can help you receive the compensation you deserve.