Commercial truck drivers in New York City are required to use a network of two distinct classes of roadways -- Local Truck Routes and Through Truck Routes. These routes for all five boroughs can be seen on the NYC DOT New York City Truck Route Map.
Truck traffic in NYC is heavy and getting heavier with the increase in e-commerce. Neighborhoods such as Bushwick, Brooklyn have delivery truck traffic as an integral part of their streetscapes, with the attendant noise, congestion, pollution, and wear and tear on the streets.
With more trucks on the road, truck accidents are more likely to happen in Brooklyn and surrounding areas. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact an experienced Brooklyn truck accident attorney.
In 2021 in the U.S., 5,700 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes, representing an 18% increase from 2020 and a 49% increase in the past decade, as reported by the National Safety Council (NSC). Of the 2021 truck accident fatalities, 72% were occupants of other vehicles. In addition to the fatalities, 117,300 large trucks were involved in crashes that caused injuries.
Big rigs are much larger, heavier, and more difficult to maneuver than passenger vehicles. In a collision, they can strike a much smaller vehicle with tremendous force. Although truck accidents have many contributing factors, most multi-vehicle crashes involving large trucks can be attributed to factors associated with big rigs and their drivers. Common causes of truck accidents include:
- Speeding: Truckers under pressure to meet delivery deadlines may exceed the speed limit. Large trucks need more time and distance to stop to avoid a crash, and speeding only increases that distance, along with the risk of a crash.
- Overloading: Semi-trucks are designed with specific weight limits. Overloading can increase wear on the brakes, cause tires to blow out, increase speed while traveling downhill, cause rollovers, and make it more difficult for the driver to control the rig.
- Negligent lane changes: Large trucks have large blind spots on all four sides. Truckers who fail to exercise the proper care to check blind spots before changing lanes can hit other vehicles in the process.
- Tire blowouts: When truck tires are not properly inspected and maintained, or when semi-trucks are overloaded, a tire can blow out, which can cause the driver to lose control of the truck.
- Fatigued driving: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hours of service regulations limit truck drivers’ hours behind the wheel without rest to help prevent fatigued driving. Violation of these regulations can lead to driver fatigue and serious truck wrecks.
- Distracted driving: Truckers spend long hours on the road, day after day. They may be tempted to talk on the phone, send or read text messages, adjust the stereo, read, eat, drink, smoke, or engage in other forms of driver distraction.
- Brake failure: It takes a lot of friction to stop or slow an 80,000 pound 18-wheeler traveling downhill. When trucking companies fail to routinely inspect and service the brakes, or when truckers use the brakes improperly on a steep downgrade, truck brakes can fail, leading to a deadly crash.
If you have been injured in a Brooklyn truck accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may have a claim for compensation. Your damages may include medical expenses, lost earnings, diminished earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other losses. Contact a Brooklyn auto accident lawyer at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP at (212) 986-7353 to schedule a free consultation.