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Causes of NY Tractor-Trailer Crashes Explored

Published January 26, 2012 by Scott Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney

Over the last few months, New York has seen too many tragic tractor-trailer accidents. Unfortunately, many of these accidents are the result of an error caused by the truck driver. A July tractor-trailer crash involving a Canadian tour bus carrying fifty-two people near Junius Ponds, NY was found to be caused by driver inattention and mechanical problems. A Dunkirk accident where two tractor-trailers crashed on Route 60 in September happened after one of the drivers failed to yield the right-of-way. And just this week, a speeding truck driver crashed after losing control while exiting the New York State Thruway near Buffalo.

According to federal statistics, approximately 5,000 accidents each year involve semi trailer trucks and result in fatalities. In fact, one of every eight traffic fatalities is caused by a collision with a large truck. More than likely, collisions involving tractor-trailers, semis, and other big rigs are more likely to cause devastating injuries to the occupants of the other vehicles. Also, most deaths that occur in these accidents are of the passengers of the other automobiles.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports nearly 3,500 people were killed and another 63,000 were injured in large truck and bus accidents in the U.S. in 2009. In New York, 120 lives were lost in accidents involving tractor-trailers or other large trucks in 2010.

The FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) partnered in 2007 to conduct the first-ever national study attempting to pin-point the factors that are most likely to increase the risk that large trucks will be involved in serious crashes. After analyzing over three years of data from 120,000 accidents, results of the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) showed that driver-related actions are most likely to be the reason for accidents involving large trucks.

Drivers of large trucks were found to be the cause of the accident in over 50% of the accidents examined. Most often, driver decisions, such as driving too fast for conditions, misjudging the speed of other vehicles, or following other vehicles too closely, resulted in a crash.

Second to driver decision, were driver recognition errors. Drivers who were inattentive, distracted by something inside or outside the vehicle, or failed to observe the situation adequately for some other reason were also likely to cause an accident.

Other risks including vehicle maintenance issues such as the truck’s braking system, interruptions or sudden changes to traffic flow, and driving in unfamiliar surroundings were also found to be an associated factor in many large truck accidents.

Our Binghamton truck accident attorneys want to remind all drivers in-and-around Binghamton to be focused and drive defensively around large trucks. When traveling near big rigs on our NY highways remember to stay out of a truck driver’s blind spots, always keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the truck, and watch out for turning trucks. Also, don’t hesitate to contact the authorities if you see a truck being driven erratically.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today

Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney, is a Binghamton accident and injury law firm that handles all types of personal injury and motor vehicle accident cases, including cases involving drunk-driving accidents, wrongful death, cancer misdiagnosis, dog bites, hunting accidents, birth injuries, brain injuries, construction accidents, fall-down injuries and insurance settlements. The firm regularly employs accident reconstruction experts, investigators, photographers and economists to assist in evaluating and preparing personal injury cases.

For more information, call (800) TALK-LAW or use the firm’s online contact form.

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