Trucking Accidents [A Look From Both Perspectives]

If you’ve been involved in a truck accident in New York City, contact an experienced NYC Personal Injury Attorney to assist with your recovery.

Trucking Accidents: The Truck Driver’s Perspective

Preliminary data from the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration shows that 2010 was not a good year for truck drivers. Although deaths from traffic accidents decreased overall by 2.9 percent in 2009, the number of truck drivers killed in crashes rose by 6 percent. In multi-vehicle accidents, truck driver fatalities jumped 16 percent. The number of injuries resulting from large-truck crashes increased by 12 percent.

Experts are at a loss to explain these developments. Although the number of registered large trucks grew by 3 million from 1999-2009, fatalities and injuries actually fell during this period. Most truck drivers are competent but may often feel pressured by unrealistic schedules that cause them to hurry in spite of safety risks. The current 11-hour driving limit and 14-hour daily on-duty limit has been in place since 2003. Adequate training and experience continue to be essential components of truck driver safety. In addition, proper use and maintenance of large commercial vehicles protects all motorists. Trucks that are overloaded and oversized present traffic hazards, as do those with poorly maintained brakes and faulty safety systems like reflectors, lights and other warning devices.

Trucking Accidents: The Truck Driver’s Perspective

No matter what the cause of your New York truck accident, allow a knowledgeable Personal Injury Attorney in NYC to assist with your recovery.

A 2007 report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration identified the following major causes of large-truck accidents:

  • Speeding is found in nearly one-quarter of trucking accidents. With each mile of increased speed, the force of impact from an 80,000 pound truck becomes that much more deadly.
  • Driver fatigue is problematic but does not occur as often as expected. It continues to play a role in 13 percent of accidents.
  • More common than driver fatigue is drug use, illicit, prescription and over-the-counter, accounting for 26 percent of crashes.
  • Unfamiliarity with roads and areas traveled is also a factor in accidents.
  • In nearly one in ten crashes, truck drivers ignored simple safety measures, like using a turn signal.
  • In 14 percent of accidents, truck drivers failed to properly check blind spots.
  • Distractions like roadwork or accidents divert driver attention from the road ahead.
  • Drivers of big vehicles may underestimate the level of evasive action needed to avoid crashes.
  • Road rage and aggressive driving are risky for all motorists. But the sheer size and weight of large vehicles make this behavior especially dangerous in truck drivers.

Trucking accidents play apart in one out of every nine traffic deaths. The majority of these crashes are caused by drivers of non-commercial vehicles. Drivers and occupants of non-commercial vehicles also suffer more than 3 times the rate of fatalities as drivers and passengers in trucks.


National Truck Accident Stats

As New York City Personal Injury Attorneys we have handled many truck accident cases.

Truck Accidents: The Car Driver’s Perspective

The U.S. trucking industry employs an estimated 8.9 million people, 3.5 million of whom are truck drivers. Large commercial vehicles are vital to the country’s economy, delivering nearly 70 percent of all freight transported in the U.S. each year. About $671 billion worth of retail and manufactured goods are transported by truck within the U.S. Truck trade with Mexico and Canada adds almost $500 billion more.

Most truck drivers are skilled and reliable. They must be particularly aware of the special needs and circumstances involved in operating very large vehicles. They must also be attentive to the fact that they share the road with smaller passenger vehicles. Car drivers are often unfamiliar with the performance capabilities of trucks. These drivers may not recognize how cars and trucks differ in terms of braking, acceleration and visibility. At higher speeds on major highways, driver errors that may be of little consequence where small vehicles are involved can prove disastrous in the presence of an eighteen-wheeler.

Truck Accident Cases in New York can be long and complicated, allow our experience as Personal Injury Attorneys in NYC to work for you.

Truck Accidents: The Car Driver’s Perspective

Fewer than 9 percent of all annual U.S. traffic accidents involve commercial vehicles. But the loss of life to truck drivers, all types of passengers and drivers of noncommercial vehicles is of grave concern. Although drivers of commercial and noncommercial vehicles are jointly responsible for traffic safety, the great majority of accidents are caused by non-commercial drivers.

Some of the unsafe acts committed by car drivers in the presence of large trucks include:

  • Allowing insufficient time and distance when changing lanes in front of a truck.
  • Driving in those areas where truck drivers have limited visibility, generally behind and beside large vehicles.
  • Merging abruptly into traffic and causing the truck to have to maneuver or brake too quickly.
  • Unsafe passing with insufficient headway.
  • Moving to the right of a truck that is making a right turn.
  • Making a left turn while misjudging the speed of a truck approaching an intersection.
  • Insufficient acceleration while pulling into traffic in front of a truck.
  • Driving between large trucks.
  • Failure to speed up or slow down when a truck begins to merge or change lanes.
  • Being blown off course by air turbulence of cross-wind when passing trucks.

Of those who suffer fatalities in accidents with trucks, 78 percent are occupants of other vehicles, 8 percent are non-occupants and 15 percent are occupants of a large truck. Thus, the vast majority of deaths occur among insured car drivers and their passengers–like many of us.



[8 Steps] What to do if you’ve been injured in a trucking accident in New York?

Injured In A Truck Accident In New York?

8 Steps To Handle A Truck Accident Case In Queens

No one expects a trucking accident to occur, and when it does it is a very serious matter. It is crucial that you know what to do when it happens. It can be the difference between compensation for the accident, or you being blamed. Whether you, your friends or family are hurt it is important that you follow these next steps closely.

What to do in a trucking accident in New York?

1. Get Help

Call 911 if anyone is hurt because medical attention within the first hour is highly important in a trucking accident. State laws require you to report the accident.

2. Don’t Mention Fault

When speaking with highway patrol or the police keep details to a minimum but truthful. Stick to mainly asking if anyone was hurt. Make sure by any means you don’t apologize, mention who’s fault it was, or saying something along the lines of “I didn’t see you”. Anything like these would be considered as an admission of fault which would damage your case.

3. Get Crucial Information

Get contact information from the other driver or drivers. Make sure you get their name, address and phone number. Also make note of the color, make and model of other vehicles, and the license plate as well. The police officer will assist you in getting this information, and typically will have a form to exchange with other drivers involved. Don’t be afraid to ask for the form or information, the police are there to help in a trucking accident.

4. Identify Witnesses

Get the names and contact information of anyone who saw the accident. If you can, do this quickly. Often, people who saw the collision will stop for a short time, but leave before the police arrive. Other motorists, passengers or pedestrians can be critical witnesses. Get their name and phone number. Witnesses are crucial to an trucking accident case.

5. Visit a Doctor

Whether or not you feel injured, the accident may have dazed you. It is important to let a doctor make sure you aren’t seriously injured. If you do have serious injuries it is important that they are attended to quickly.

6. Call Your Insurance Agent

Most insurance policies require you to contact your insurance company. This needs to be done shortly after the accident. Delay in telling the insurance company of your trucking crash can result in a denial of your case.

7. Take a Picture

Pictures of damages, injuries, and the vehicles before they are moved can be very useful in a case. Something as simple as a seat belt bruise can help prove you were wearing it. These pictures can be essential in a case.

8. Contact an Attorney

Contacting an attorney as soon as possible is important. If you plan to file a lawsuit, you need your attorney to being investigating the accident and taking care of evidence so that it is not lost. Attorneys can help to find out witness statements, the driver’s previous driving history, the truck driver’s log book, his “black box”, and GPS information, speed the truck was traveling at the time of the accident, and information regarding the truck’s condition and maintenance records.

Your attorney will also be able to work with expert witnesses who may be needed to testify about the possible negligence of a trucking company or driver. These witnesses are experts who have previous experience in the trucking industry.


After a serious accident involving an 18 wheeler, tanker, dump truck or any large commercial vehicle you will have questions. A partner at Orlow Law Offices in New York City can help provide you with advice about how to handle your truck accident case. The Truck Accident Attorneys at Orlow Law Firm have over 30 years experience. Our NYC injury law firm offers free initial consultations and operates three offices across New York City for your convenience. We can go to you if you cannot come to us.

To contact a lawyer, call (646) 647-3398.