How dangerous are large trucks in New York?

Large truck accidents claimed the lives of 126 people in New York in 2015 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

According to the New York Department of Transportation, large trucks and other commercial vehicles are not allowed on all roads within New York City. The area has clearly identified truck routes indicating when and where different vehicles may drive. These rules are intended to both facilitate efficient commerce and provide important public safety on the roads. For example, large trucks are banned from many parkways in the city.

One of the potential dangers on some parkways is the low height clearance of some of the bridges that were built at a time when tall vehicles were not an issue. Today's Trucking explains that the state has recently installed systems in two locations that alert vehicles to impending clearance problems. Using infrared technology, these systems display visual alerts to oncoming trucks or vehicles giving them sufficient time to depart from that road prior to hitting an overhead structure or object.

Even with such guidelines and processes in place, New Yorkers should be aware that sharing the roads with large vehicles still poses some dangers to them.

2015 large truck accident fatalities

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that 126 people died across the state in crashes involving large trucks in 2015. In the greater New York City area, Suffolk County led the region with the most number of deaths in large truck accidents with a total of 12 that year. Kings and Queens Counties followed with 10 and nine fatalities, respectively. In Nassau County, six people died in such wrecks and three deaths each were recorded in Bronx and New York Counties.

2014 large truck accident fatalities

In 2014, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles reported that 79 people died statewide in 74 large truck accidents. More than 3,500 additional injuries were recorded. Truck crashes that year alone involved more than 21,000 vehicles and more than 45,000 people.

Of the 79 people who died, the vast majority - 43 in all - were drivers of vehicles other than the large trucks. Seventeen pedestrians and 12 passengers died. The remaining seven fatalities were truckers themselves.

Over 8,800 of the accidents were reported to have been influenced by some form of human error or factor. Driver distraction, tailgating, not giving the right of way and making dangerous lane changes were identified as the four most common factors in large truck wrecks in 2014.

Getting help after a truck accident

Clearly the laws in place are not sufficient to prevent all truck accidents in New York. When these tragic crashes occur, people involved should reach out to an attorney for help. Seeking compensation is important and can also be a way of sending valuable messages to truckers and trucking companies about staying safe on the roads.