Trucking Accidents: Top Causes in New York

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. Visit our Trucking Accident page for more helpful information.

Inexperience at the Wheel

The recent trucker shortage has thrown open the doors for new drivers, often with minimal experience. While training exists, navigating the intricate dance of heavy vehicles on unpredictable roads is a complex skill. This lack of seasoned hands behind the wheel significantly increases the risk of accidents, especially for those unfamiliar with sharing the road with such behemoths.

Speeding

Forget lead footers in sports cars; the true speed demons on our highways are often the giants of the road. Trucks, with their immense weight and momentum, require significantly longer stopping distances. When a truck driver pushes the pedal to the metal, the consequences can be catastrophic for smaller vehicles caught in their wake. Add in unpredictable weather conditions like rain or snow, and the recipe for disaster is complete.

Cargo Gone Wild

Trucks are the lifeblood of commerce, but their cargo can become a deadly weapon if not properly secured. Overloaded trailers teeter on the brink of disaster, a gust of wind or a sharp turn away from jackknifing and unleashing their contents onto the road. And when straps snap and boxes tumble, innocent drivers become collateral damage in a game of vehicular dominoes.

Driver Fatigue

We rely on truckers to deliver the goods, but their dedication often comes at a human cost. Long hours, tight deadlines, and the pressure to deliver can push drivers to the brink of exhaustion. Drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving, and when a truck driver’s eyelids fight to stay open, the consequences can be horrific.

Poor Maintenance

Trucks are marvels of engineering, but like any machine, they require constant care. Worn-out tires, failing brakes, and malfunctioning equipment can turn a routine drive into a nightmare. Regular maintenance is crucial, but even the most meticulous upkeep can miss a critical flaw. When a neglected truck hurtles down the road, it’s a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.

Navigating the Storm: How to Protect Yourself

Knowing the dangers is just the first step. Here are some practical tips to stay safe:

  • Maintain safe distances: Avoid tailgating trucks and give them ample space to maneuver.
  • Be aware of blind spots: Trucks have extensive blind zones; avoid lingering in them and make eye contact with the driver when possible.
  • Watch for erratic behavior: Be wary of sudden lane changes, erratic swerving, or excessive braking, which could indicate a fatigued or distracted driver.
  • Stay vigilant in bad weather: Reduce speed and increase following distances when visibility and traction are compromised.

The Aftermath: When the Unthinkable Happens

If you find yourself involved in a trucking accident, seek immediate medical attention and contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Navigating the legal complexities of such cases requires expert guidance to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

Remember, the road is not a racetrack. By understanding the dangers posed by trucks and practicing safe driving habits, we can all work together to make our highways safer for everyone. Let’s not let the convenience of commerce come at the cost of human lives.

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.