According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, fatalities from trucking accidents increased by nearly 30% in New York between 2009 and 2019. Most of these fatalities were occupants of smaller cars and vehicles involved in the crash—not the truck. Accidents involving tanker trucks, semis, and 18-wheelers often come with serious injuries. Here are the most common reasons for trucking accidents in New York.
The recent trucker shortage has led many companies to offer incentives for new drivers. This means there is a large influx of newly licensed commercial drivers on the roadways. While new truck drivers must pass a written and on-road exam to get their commercial driver’s license, a lack of experience operating on different kinds of streets can increase the chance of accidents. Newly licensed car drivers may also increase the likelihood of trucking accidents. They may have little experience sharing the road with trucks, which causes them to follow too close behind a truck or not account for wide turns.
Speeding causes many automobile accidents in New York, but speeding is especially troublesome for truckers. Their significant weight means they need longer to come to a stop—which could cause a car to be hit from behind. Inclement weather conditions like snow, sleet, and rain also increase crashes.
Overloaded or Unsecured Cargo
Many regulations regarding load sizes and securing cargo for trucks exist. However, trucking companies do not always follow the rules, which can mean trouble for other motorists. Overloaded trucks have an increased chance of jackknifing, where a semi-truck can fold in the opposite direction of the trailer. This presents a serious hazard for other drivers as the trailer swings away from the cab uncontrollably. Another common cause of trucking accidents occurs when a driver fails to secure their load properly, leading to the trailer contents spilling out onto the roadway.
It is no doubt that truck drivers work hard to ensure we have the supplies we need to go about our daily lives. However, drivers often work long hours throughout the day and night and may be incentivized to deliver loads early. Although there are legal requirements for how much road-time truckers can have in a day and how long they are required to stop and rest, the pressure to deliver a load may cause them to drive while drowsy, leading to serious accidents.
Trucks undergo lots of wear and tear, which is why they must be inspected regularly. However, even regular maintenance can sometimes miss things like tire pressure and brake pad quality, which increases the chance of an accident. If you are injured in a truck accident, multiple parties may be held liable, including the driver, the trucking company, and even the truck manufacturer if vehicle malfunction is a contributing factor to the accident.
Injured in a Trucking Accident? Call the Buffalo Injury Law Firm
If you are injured in a trucking accident, seek medical attention immediately. Then, contact a personal injury attorney like the Buffalo Injury Law Firm to ensure you are properly compensated for your injuries. We serve residents throughout western New York, including Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Amherst, West Seneca, and surrounding areas. Contact us for a free case consultation.