With a population of over 8 million people, New York City and the surrounding areas see a great number of semi-trucks driving through to deliver supplies. Unfortunately, New York truck drivers often face incredibly challenging working conditions that can cause serious truck accidents. Many commercial truck drivers are independent contractors and only receive payment when a job is completed on time.
That means that the more jobs truck drivers complete, the more money they earn. Time pressure causes many truck drivers to keep driving when they are incredibly fatigued. Driving while fatigued can be as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. The large size of commercial semi-trucks makes driving while fatigued even riskier. New York truck accidents can cause serious, long-term injuries.
Fatigue-Related Truck Accidents can be Fatal
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that drowsy driving contributed to 2.3 to 2.5% of all fatal crashes nationwide. The NHTSA considers a drowsy driving accident as an accident in which the police report indicated that the driver was tired or sleepy while driving. Further, 33,000 crashes that caused an injury involved drowsy drivers in 2015.
In 2018, fatalities involved in trucking accidents reached the highest level in 29 years. The NHTSA reported that even though the overall rate of traffic fatalities declined, deaths from large truck accidents increased. In 2017, large truck fatalities rose by 9% to over 4,700. Approximately 1,300 people who died were truckers. Nearly 40% of the truck drivers who died in accidents were not wearing seatbelts. A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration spokesperson noted that trucks carrying heavy freight are at an all-time high and that large truck fatality. The potential for fatal truck accidents increases as more truck drivers carrying massive loads increases.
Truck Drivers are More Likely to Drive While Drowsy
Truck drivers are subject to tight deadlines, long hours on the road, and pressure from employers to deliver products and goods on time. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration created a service schedule that commercial truck drivers must obey. Commercial motor vehicle drivers who are carrying cargo cannot drive longer than 11 hours at a time.
Truck drivers may only drive 11 hours if they have had 10 consecutive hours of not driving before their shift. No commercial driver may drive longer than 14 straight hours at a time. Unfortunately, many trucking companies offer New York truck drivers bonuses when they deliver cargo ahead of schedule, incentivizing drivers not to follow maximum drive time laws.
If You Have Suffered an Injury in a Truck Accident, We can Help
Despite more truck drivers than ever using safety assistants like automatic emergency braking, cameras, and lane departure warnings, drowsy driving continues to cause truck accidents. Sleep apnea, strict time deadlines, and driving over 11 hours at a time can all cause fatigued driving. If you have suffered injuries in a truck accident, you might be entitled to compensation. Contact our truck accident attorneys today to schedule your initial consultation.