Information About 18-Wheeler Accidents in New York
According to the DMV, New York doesn’t rank very well when it comes to 18-wheeler accidents. The last year with available data, 2013, showed that there were a total of 11,452 crashes involving large trucks. In those crashes, 22,577 vehicles were involved.
During 2013, 18-wheelers were involved in the deaths of 105 people. Nearly half of those accidents—5,299 or them—resulted in injury or death.
Many of the victims are entitled to compensation for their injuries, their medical bills and their other expenses because the 18-wheeler drivers have been proven to be at fault for the crashes.
The Raw Info on Semi Accidents in New York
Out of New York’s 11,452 semi-truck crashes during that year, an overwhelming majority of them occurred between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Those are the busiest hours on our roads, encompassing both “rush hour” periods and covering the times while most of us are running errands, taking our children to and from school, and meeting up with friends and family.
Perhaps not surprisingly, most of these crashes happened Monday through Friday. Only a small minority of them occurred on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Role of Fatigued Driving in 18-Wheeler Crashes in NY
Many people believe that 18-wheeler accidents occur because late-night truck drivers fall asleep at the wheel, disobeying the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Hours of Service Rules, but the data suggests otherwise.
Fatigued driving does play a role in many of these accidents, though. Being tired behind the wheel leads to:
- Dulled reflexes
- Slowed reaction times
- Falling asleep while driving
- Muscle fatigue, poor motor skills and poor decision-making
While truckers who drive tired pose serious risks to everyone on the road, there are several other factors that cause the many 18-wheeler accidents New Yorkers deal with each year.
What Leads to Tractor Trailer Accidents in the Empire State?
Particularly in New York City, where the roads are too narrow for large trucks and the signals make fast, frequent changes, there are many factors that cause 18-wheeler accidents. The most common causes are speeding and reckless driving, and following that are:
- Distracted driving. This can refer to cellphone use, texting and driving, or any other type of distraction, such as changing radio stations, talking to a passenger in the 18-wheeler or reading a map.
- Road hazards. Defects in the roadway, improperly functioning traffic signals or obscured traffic signs can all be dangerous hazards. Litter, pedestrians darting into traffic, potholes and uneven pavement are other common road hazards.
- Poor weather conditions. Rain, sleet, ice and hail all have negative effects on driving conditions, and many accidents occur during bad weather. Even sunrise and sunset can be particularly hazardous to drivers because the changing light conditions can cause confusion.
What to Do if You’re Involved in an Accident with an 18-Wheeler
Before you do anything, seek medical care. It’s important that a first responder or a physician evaluates you as soon as possible. Some injuries don’t appear right away, so it’s best to err on the side of caution even if you feel like you’re fine.
If you can, take note of the type of truck that caused your accident. Take pictures, if possible, and talk to anyone who witnessed the crash. You may need to contact witnesses for more information later, so try to get their contact information.
Could You Have a Case?
You may decide to pursue legal action against the truck driver that caused the accident, and in that case, you’ll need to contact a car accident lawyer as soon as you’re able to do so.
It’s usually in your best interests to contact an attorney if you’re injured. Medical bills, lost wages and other expenses can pile up quickly, and if someone else was at fault, it might be a good idea to sue.
Your lawyer will be able to obtain police reports, and he or she might even be able to discover whether the truck driver was operating the 18-wheeler illegally leading up to the accident. Your attorney might even identify other parties, such as trucking companies or manufacturers, who may have had a hand in causing your accident.
Your attorney can also give you the peace of mind that only comes when you know you have someone fighting in your corner. That can help you on your road to recovery—after all, that’s the most important thing in this whole process.