Commercial trucks present unique dangers on the road

Driving in and around the New York area more than likely brings you into close proximity to commercial trucks. Large delivery trucks and semis present unique dangers to drivers and passengers in smaller vehicles. Unfortunately, these dangers can result in catastrophic accidents.

When you have to share the road with commercial trucks, it is important to be aware of situations that can lead to an accident with one of the vehicles. The following can give you a basic understanding of the most common causes of truck accidents so that you can take steps to keep yourself safe.

Other vehicles

Passenger vehicles are one of the largest contributing factors to truck accidents. Many drivers overestimate the performance capabilities of large trucks. For instance, an impatient driver might cut off a large truck in traffic. These larger vehicles are much heavier than passenger cars and need much more time to safely slow down and stop. If a small vehicle suddenly moves in front a commercial truck, the truck may not be able to slow down in time to avoid a collision.

Furthermore, such a collision could end up involving other passenger vehicles in the immediate vicinity. Other faux pas that drivers commit around commercial vehicles include driving in blind spots, trying to pass a turning truck on the right, improper merging and driving between trucks.

Truck drivers

While other vehicles contribute to a large number of commercial truck accidents, the truckers themselves can also make dangerous mistakes on the road. For example, drivers who do not receive proper training or lack knowledge about safety techniques and defensive driving can easily cause an accident. Also, certain industry practices might lead to unsafe driving. Many companies pay higher rates to drivers who make their deliveries early. This often leads to drivers speeding or spending too much time behind the wheel without getting proper rest. Truck drivers who are sleep deprived or speeding are a danger to themselves and other drivers.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to an accident with a commercial truck, keep in mind that you have options. You might be able to file a legal claim against the driver and the trucking company for your damages.

Anthony Deliso, Esq. speaks at Danny’s Law event

Anthony Deliso, Esq. spoke at the Liakas Law sponsored anti-bullying walk hosted by non-profit Danny’s Angel Network Nurturing Youth (D.A.N.N.Y.) Inc. in Clove Lakes, Staten Island on Sunday. The event was put on in an effort to end bullying, to honor 13-year-old Danny Fitzpatrick, and to raise awareness for “Danny’s Law” anti-bullying legislation.

“Danny’s Law,” named after Fitzpatrick, would create an anti-bullying roundtable, comprised of education stakeholders, including teachers, guidance counselors, psychologists, parents and bullied children. The members of the roundtable will be required to send Congress a report with recommendations about how schools and parents can most effectively combat bullying.

You can find more information regarding Danny’s Law at

A variety of factors can contribute to commercial truck accidents

Everyone knows that there is risk inherent to operating a motor vehicle. Even if you drive very carefully, someone else on the road could still cause a crash. People choose to drive drunk or distracted every day, and that puts others on the road at risk.

When it comes to the biggest and most dangerous vehicles on the road, commercial trucks, the potential for serious injury and even death exist. These massive vehicles have blind spots that limit their drivers’ visibility, take longer to stop and often take up a lot of road space during a turn. There are myriad ways a commercial truck can cause an accident.

Under-ride accidents, for example, are both common and dangerous. If a truck stops suddenly, a vehicle behind it could end up rear-ending it. With most vehicles, that’s a minor fender-bender. With a semi truck, these accidents could be fatal, as the upper portion of the vehicle could get smashed or even clipped off.

Semi trucks can also turn or merge into traffic, causing major crashes. Sometimes, if they are stopped suddenly, commercial trucks can jackknife, blocking multiple lanes at once. Other people on the road could very sustain serious injuries or even get killed in these accidents.

Truck drivers are human, too

While the people who drive commercial vehicles do undergo special training and get subjected to higher standards than the average driver, they can still make mistakes.

Sometimes, commercial drivers come to work when they are sick, meaning that their response time and awareness could be lower than normal. Truck drivers also spend countless hours on the road, so both exhaustion and distraction could cause a crash.

Although there are laws that limit the hours a truck driver can operate a vehicle, these rules may get broken if a shipment is late or there’s an on-time delivery incentive for the driver.

Foolish choices

Sometimes, truck drivers decide to get behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs or prescribed medications that impact the ability to drive. While commercial drivers are generally subject to stricter limits on blood alcohol content, restrictions alone don’t prevent someone from driving.

They could also decide to eat while driving to save time or respond to a text message or email. Any of these decisions could end up costing other people on the road dearly. Truck accidents can wreck vehicles, break bones, cause brain and spinal damage or even kill people.

After an accident with a commercial truck, you should document the scene as well as possible. Evidence as to the commercial driver’s responsibility for the crash can help your insurance claim and ensure that you can access the compensation you deserve after a serious commercial vehicle accident.

6 pieces of evidence for your truck accident case

You were lucky to survive such a horrific accident last week when you were hit by a tractor-trailer. The driver of the truck lost control and crossed into oncoming traffic. You were not able to get out of the way fast enough. Now, you are facing months of healing from your injuries followed by months of physical therapy. The doctor informed you that you may not regain a full range of movement and it is questionable as to when you can return to work.

Due to the nature of the accident, you more than likely have a case not only against the driver, but against the trucking company that employed him as well. However, commercial truck accident litigation can be very complicated. It often includes unique aspects that are not present in typical motor vehicle accidents. An experienced New York personal injury attorney can help you with these differences and provide guidance on your case.

Your attorney may examine and use many pieces of evidence to prove fault. This evidence will go beyond the typical police report and one or two witness statements that are useful in less complex cases. Read below for examples of the evidence your attorney may gather.

Investigation and evidence preservation

It is extremely important that your attorney conduct an immediate investigation. He or she can request a court order, such as a restraining order or an order to impound all vehicles involved in the accident as well as their contents. The items in the truck may give an indication as to the driver’s state of mind or the type of activities he was engaged in leading up to the accident. This must be done quickly in order to limit other people’s access and to preserve the evidence.

Witness statements from first responders

People that witnessed the accident will usually provide witness statements describing what they saw at the moment of the accident. Paramedics, tow truck drivers, fire personnel, and even investigating officers also need to provide witness statements describing the accident scene, the driver’s behavior, and any off-the-record remarks that they overheard. An experienced investigator can gather this evidence for your case.

Social media and employment history

The internet and social media can provide valuable information concerning both the driver and the transportation company. For example, if the driver posted a social media comment just before he lost control, it may be used as evidence of distracted driving.

This may not be the first accident or traffic infraction that the driver caused. An investigation into the driver’s employment history, driving records, experience and any other documented source may uncover a history of problems.

Black box

Most large commercial trucks are outfitted with devices that record GPS and speed. It can provide evidence that the driver was not operating within trucking regulations or company guidelines at the time of the accident.

The history of the trucking company

Check into the history of the trucking company. It may have higher than normal accident statistics, driver citations and other violations that provide evidence against the company. If the company was aware of dangerous conditions and hazardous driving habits, the court could find that it is guilty of negligence.

After an accident with a negligent truck driver, you should not bear the cost of high medical bills and lost wages. When dealing with a personal injury claim, it is important that you are aware of your rights and options.

Highway driving safety tips you must follow

Do you find yourself driving on busy highways every now and again? Is this a way of life as you commute to and from work?

Driving on the highway is virtually inescapable in modern life, but that doesn’t mean you can take it for granted and let your guard down. It’s important to remember that you could be part of an accident at some point. Even though you do your best to avoid trouble, don’t overlook the fact that other drivers don’t always take the same level of caution.

Here are a handful of highway driving safety tips that you should keep in mind at all times:

  • Follow the speed limit. It’s not always easy to do, especially when traffic around you is moving so fast, but you need to know and abide by the speed limit at all times. This one tip can go a long way in helping you avoid trouble.
  • Focus on the road. It’s easy to become distracted when driving on the highway, especially if there aren’t many cars on the road. You can’t go down this path, as any distraction can increase the likelihood of a crash.
  • Keep a safe following distance. Do you often find yourself driving too close to the car ahead of you? This is a big mistake, as you may not be giving yourself enough time to slow down in the event of an emergency.
  • Make it easy for trucks to see you. There are many ways you can do this, such as by using your headlights and never driving in a trucker’s blind spot.
  • Watch for others who are breaking the law. Just because you’re driving safely doesn’t mean that others are doing the same. So, if you see someone who is breaking the law, such as by speeding or swerving, keep your distance.

With these highway driving safety tips in mind, you should feel better about your ability to avoid trouble on the road.

If you find yourself part of a highway accident, move to safety and call for help. It’s imperative that police and an ambulance quickly arrive at the scene.

Once you’re stabilized and have time to look back at the accident, do so with the idea that you need to file an insurance claim and learn more about your legal rights.

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