Many commercial vehicle drivers in New York and across the U.S. are traveling with bad brakes. By doing so, they are violating federal regulations and putting both themselves and others at risk for an accident. To address this issue, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance holds a brake inspection spree every year throughout North America. It is called Brake Safety Week.
For people in New York, truck accidents may be particularly devastating. Every year, thousands of people lose their lives or are seriously injured in crashes involving large semi-trucks. Car accidents can already be complex as there are a number of parties involved, and victims may face a fight for justice. However, the landscape can be even more complicated when a truck accident is involved.
In 2016, there were 3,986 fatalities in crashes involving large trucks throughout the United States. Of those who died in such crashes, 66 percent were in passenger vehicles while only 17 percent were large truck occupants. Although large truck crashes can result in serious injuries and deaths to people on New York roadways, there are ways to avoid them. One way to do this is to keep an eye on traffic up to a half-mile ahead.
Dump trucks and ready-mix concrete delivery trucks in New York and across the U.S. are getting into more accidents. Their accident rate went up 9 and 9.6 percent, respectively, from 2015 to 2016 with 8,206 serious dump truck crashes and 838 serious concrete delivery truck crashes in all. This is according to a report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (2016 is the latest year for which statistics are available).
Many safety advocates in New York are urging increased regulations to lower the risk of a particularly deadly type of trucking accident. Underride crashes occur when a passenger car slides under the carriage of a large commercial truck, often crushing or severing the top of the car. These accidents can occur at the rear, front or side of the truck, and they are very likely to be fatal. Associated with severe head and neck injuries, underride crashes have even resulted in decapitations.
Trucking companies in New York and elsewhere must maintain their fleets so that commercial vehicles function within safety standards. As a result, the condition of the front tires on one semi-truck has come under scrutiny after it crashed into a bus and killed eight people Aug. 31 on Interstate 40 in New Mexico.
According to a study from Verizon Connect, New York was among the safest states to drive in as a commercial trucker. The study looked at 6,200 fleet customers from fleets ranging from 2 to 200 trucks. The trucks themselves ranged from light vans to heavier vehicles, and data was gathered from September 2015 to October 2017. Among all 50 states, North Dakota had the safest drivers with Maine and Nebraska in the top three.
When New York drivers get behind the wheel, they can be dedicated to keeping their eyes on the road, but an accident can still strike. When the cause of an accident is a poorly maintained truck, the results can be particularly devastating due to the size, weight and mass of the vehicle involved. Despite the dangers posed to others by negligently maintained trucks, there are a number of large trucks on the highways that are suffering from serious deficiencies in the upkeep of their brakes.
Accidents between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles usually end badly for the occupants of the latter; in fact, they make up 97 percent of the fatalities in such accidents. When they survive, though, they can still be left with long-term physical and mental conditions. Drivers in New York should, therefore, know what the most common truck accident injuries are.
In New York and across the U.S., commercial truck accidents are all too common. Though the past two decades have seen a decrease in accident rates, with many crashes being prevented by new safety measures and technology, every increase can be a cause for concern. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration just published a report revealing a 3 percent increase in fatal truck crashes from 2015 to 2016.