Truck accident fatality rates may be dropping nationwide, but there's no reason to be complacent about the toll these accidents take on innocent people. This week, a 65-year-old woman was killed in a truck accident in Newstead, New York. According to news reports, the woman was driving a car that was broadsided by a tractor-trailer. The woman was rushed to the hospital, but she died later of her injuries. There were three children in the car, aged between six and seven years. They have suffered serious injuries.
It appears that the tractor-trailer driver did not see the car because of sun glare. We will have to wait for investigations to be complete before we know the reasons for this crash. However, it should serve as another reminder of the dangers motorists face when they share the highways with these massive big rigs.
The good news is that truck accident fatalities have been on a downward trend over the past couple of years. The bad news is that these still kill dozens of people in New York State every year. In 2008, 118 people were killed in accidents involving commercial trucks in New York. That was a drop from 155 deaths in 2007 and 174 in 2006, but it is still far too many deaths for any New York truck accident lawyer to tolerate.
Truck investigations in New York can be a complex affair. Truck drivers are presented with unique challenges as they travel through American highways every day, and they are required to be equipped with the skills needed to cope with these. Truck drivers often work long hours, sometimes going beyond the maximum numbers of hours that they can spend behind the wheel. This often contributes to driver fatigue which is an important factor in truck accidents in New York.
Other factors can also come into play when there is a trucker at the wheel of a massive big. These include drunk driving, use of cell phones behind the wheel and other distractions, speeding, tailgating and reckless driving.
A truck accident investigation in New York will also include a mechanical investigation of the truck to look for defective or malfunctioning parts, inadequate repairs, faulty brakes, steering, wheels, tires and other components.