An accident involving two tractor trailers created massive traffic delays and a dangerous situation along the New York Thruway on the morning of Wednesday, June 3rd. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured in the accident that jammed traffic in both directions for hours during the morning commute. This situation could have easily been much worse, as it involved an overturned tractor trailer which caught on fire near the Franklin Street Overpass, just north of Exit 10 in South Nyack.
According to Police and first responders, the accident began when one of the tractor trailers blew out a tire and pulled over to the side of the road. At that point, a second truck struck the disabled vehicle, causing it to careen into a wall before overturning and catching fire.
Witnesses and local residents reported hearing multiple explosions from the scene, caused by the overturned truck’s tires exploding in the fire. The driver of the second truck was issued a citation for failing to stay in his lane.
Both truck drivers walked away from the scene with only minor injuries. Considering the damages and injuries an accident of this magnitude could have caused, everyone involved should consider themselves lucky the situation did not deteriorate further.
Tractor trailers help literally and figuratively drive the U.S economy. Every day, thousands of shipments arrive safely at their destinations thanks to the hard work of truck drivers from all over the country. However, these vehicles can regularly carry cargo loads weighing close to 80,000 lbs., the legal limit for cargo weight in the United States. The sheer size of tractor trailers is one of the many reasons that truck drivers are so highly trained in safely operating these huge vehicles. However, passenger vehicle drivers must also use caution when sharing the road with tractor trailers, as dangerous situations such as Wednesday morning’s accident can arise in the blink of an eye.
• According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,921 people were killed in accidents involving tractor trailers in 2012, and another 104,000 were injured.
• In New York State in 2012, there were 97 large trucks involved in fatal crashes.
• There are approximately 3 million tractor trailers operating in the U.S at any given time.
• Large trucks are far more likely than passenger vehicles to be involved in fatal multi-vehicle accidents. In fact, 81% of fatal tractor trailer accidents involved multiple vehicles.
It is also important to keep in mind the root causes of most tractor trailer accidents so that drivers can help avoid and prevent dangerous situations. The three most common causes for tractor trailer accidents are:
• Driver Fatigue: Due to tight, and sometimes unsafe or unreasonable, delivery deadlines, truck drivers are often forced to stay awake for multiple days in a row in order to deliver their shipments on time. This can lead to drug or medication abuse to keep them up, and when the effects of these drugs wear off, it can create drowsy drivers and dangerous situations.
• Distracted Driving: Just like passenger vehicle drivers, driver distraction is a major cause of accidents among truck drivers. One encouraging point to note is that incidents of distracted driving were lowest among truck drivers compared to all other types of motorists. However, being in control of such a large vehicle means that one momentary lapse in concentration could have disastrous consequences.
• Reckless Driving: Finally, as with any group of drivers, there will always be a small minority of truck drivers that are simply reckless. Whether speeding in order to meet a deadline, or not following proper safety precautions, this behavior can be fatal.
The website TruckersReport.com has compiled an informative Infographic containing some interesting and helpful facts about tractor trailers. The more education passenger vehicle divers have about these machines, the more successful we can all be at preventing dangerous accidents such as the one that took place on the New York Thruway this week.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a tractor trailer, motorcycle, or any other motor vehicle, you need an experienced New York and New Jersey Car Accident and Personal Injury attorney to help you with your case.
Accidents involving tractor trailers can cause serious or even fatal injuries, thousands of dollars in property damage, and can have a lasting impact on victims and their families. To speak with one of the experienced, dedicated Car and Truck Accident attorneys at Fellows Hymowitz Rice, New York and New Jersey Personal Injury law firm, give us a call today at 845-639-9300.
When you call, you can speak with a compassionate and dedicated attorney that will review your case for FREE. Let the legal team at Fellows Hymowitz Rice help provide the answers you seek.
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