Any collision can cause severe damage and injuries, but truck accidents tend to be uniquely disastrous. The massive difference in size and weight between commercial trucks and smaller cars means occupants of passenger vehicles are especially likely to sustain catastrophic and even fatal injuries in a collision with a large truck.
As recently as 2019, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported 67 percent of people killed in large truck crashes were occupants of other vehicles. The attorneys of The Mandel Law Firm have reviewed some of the most common causes of New York truck accidents to help keep our neighbors safe and informed.
Operating a large commercial truck requires careful concentration at all times. When drivers fail to dedicate their full attention to the task of driving safely, devastating distracted driving accidents can occur.
Common types of driver distractions include talking or texting on a cell phone, adjusting vehicle control knobs, personal grooming, and eating or drinking. Texting while driving is one of the most prevalent and dangerous distractions and can increase the risk of a crash or near-crash event by 23 times.
The demanding lifestyle of a full-time commercial truck driver leads some to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs. In some cases, drivers use alcohol to break up the monotony or help themselves fall asleep at night, which can lead to dangerous habits and catastrophic drunk driving truck accidents.
Some drivers choose to use illegal or over-the-counter (OTC) stimulant drugs to keep up with punishing schedules. When a driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol, they may not have the judgment or sufficient reaction speed necessary to make safe driving decisions.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes strict hours-of-service (HOS) regulations on commercial drivers to force operators to get the rest necessary to drive safely. Unfortunately, some truck drivers and trucking companies find ways to skirt these rules in the name of increased productivity.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. The effects of just 18 hours of sleep deprivation are equivalent to the effects of a blood alcohol level over the legal limit for truck drivers.
Truckers who engage in reckless driving behaviors put themselves and everyone else on the road at risk. Speeding is the most common reckless driving behavior since truck drivers are often encouraged to make impossible deadlines. Unfortunately, a truck accident that occurs at high speeds is far more likely to result in severe injuries and vehicle damage.
Other common reckless driving behaviors include tailgating, lane weaving, failure to yield the right of way, and failure to signal before turning.
Defective Vehicle Components
Commercial trucks are made up of thousands of moving parts, and the failure of any one of those parts could lead to a dangerous loss-of-control accident. Accidents caused by defective brakes, steering systems, or tires are rare but extremely dangerous.
When a vehicle component is defective due to negligent design, manufacturing, or distribution, injured victims could be entitled to compensation from the product’s manufacturer.
Contact a New York Truck Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in a truck accident, you might be owed financial compensation. Don’t wonder what to do next alone. At The Mandel Law Firm, our New York truck accident lawyers can help you seek the justice you deserve and the money you need to recover.
When you’re ready to discuss the details of your truck accident case with a knowledgeable and attentive New York truck accident lawyer, contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.