One of the threats in New York highways is truck driver fatigue, as reported in WPIX. According to the report, there were 94 recorded fatalities in New York in 2013 due to tractor trailer crashes. The national figure was even more alarming: almost 4,000 fatalities in 2013.
The annual average for fatalities arising from tractor trailer accidents is 4,500. In non-fatal crashes, many of those involved in such an accident suffer serious injuries, while almost all such accidents lead to property damage and productivity loss.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents happen for various reasons. Environmental factors, such as heavy fog or a snowstorm, increase the likelihood of crashes. Bad road conditions are another possible cause. However, in majority of cases, the cause is driver error.
Driver error also have different roots. The top five are impaired driving (due to alcohol and/or other substances), fatigue, speeding, improper braking, and incorrect cargo loading. Cargo trucks require a great deal more care to drive than most vehicles because of their sheer size and weight, and a slight error on the part of the driver can lead to severe accidents.
Truck Accident Injuries
In majority of collisions involving a truck and a smaller vehicle, the occupants of the smaller vehicle suffer worse injuries. They make up 73 percent of the injured, while occupants of large trucks make up 24 percent; and non-occupants (e.g. pedestrians, bystanders, cyclists, etc.) make up 3 percent.
This pattern in numbers is also reflected in fatalities: 73 percent of those who are killed are occupants of the smaller vehicle, 18 percent are occupants of the truck, and 10 percent are non-occupants.
If you or someone you know was injured in a truck accident, consult an experienced Long Island personal injury attorney to know how you can get compensation. The lawyer can investigate the details of the accident to determine who is at fault. If it’s indeed due to the truck driver’s error, or the performance or condition of the truck, you can be entitled to compensation.
You need Long Island injury lawyers who have extensive experience in truck accident cases, such as those at The Law Offices of Joseph Lichtenstein. Truck cases have certain complexities that are quite different from other motor accidents. For one, the trucking industry is covered by its own set of regulations. Additionally, liability could be meted out not just on the driver, but other entities as well, such as the trucking company or the shipper. To improve your chances of a successful claim, check a lawyer or law firm’s track record in this particular type of cases.
(Source: Fatigue among truck drivers a growing threat on U.S. highways, WPIX, Nov. 24, 2014)