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On behalf of Pat Crispi at Keogh Crispi PC

Trucking collisions occur all too often, and frequently lead to serious injuries or death, but there are steps drivers can take to help ensure their safety.

As people in New York are likely aware, sharing the road with commercial vehicles can sometimes be dangerous. In fact, the state's Department of Motor Vehicles reported that there were more than 11,800 accidents involving large trucks in 2014 alone. Many of these collisions resulted in serious injuries or death for the drivers and passengers of smaller, passenger vehicles. While not all tractor-trailer collisions can be avoided, there are things that drivers can do to help ensure their safety.

Allow Trucks Room To Maneuver

Due to their size and wheel bases, 18-wheelers tend to make wider turns than smaller vehicles. For example, large truck operators may have to swing their vehicles wide to the left in order to make a right-hand turn. Therefore, it is advisable that motorists allow commercial vehicles a wider berth. This may help avoid some sideswipes and other collisions.

Stay Back

When driving behind semitrailers, it can be difficult for the drivers of passenger vehicles to see the road in front of them. The American Trucking Association recommends that people stay at least 20 to 25 car lengths behind tractor trailers when they are traveling at highway speeds. Motorists should be able to see the truckers' faces in their side mirrors. This allows them time and space to react to hazards that may appear on the road.

Avoid Cutting In Front Of Semitrailers

Particularly when they are fully loaded, it generally takes commercial vehicles more time and room to stop than it takes other vehicles. Thus, drivers are warned to avoid cutting in front of these automobiles. If they must suddenly slow or stop, truckers may not be able to stop in time to avoid a serious trucking accident. Furthermore, if truckers try to stop or maneuver quickly to avoid a wreck, it could cause unsafe shifts in the loads they are hauling.

Do Not Linger In The No-Zones

The New York Governor's Traffic Safety Committee points out semitrailers have larger blind spots than smaller cars. These areas, or no-zones, extend in the front and rear of these vehicles, as well as on both sides. When drivers are in large trucks' blind spots, the operators of those vehicles may be unable to see them. In order to avoid collisions resulting from 18-wheelers moving into smaller vehicles, it is suggested that motorists refrain from driving for extended distances in the no-zones.

Pass On The Driver Side

In general, commercial vehicles tend to have larger blind spots on their passenger sides than on their driver sides. Therefore, it is advisable that people pass these vehicles on the driver side. This may help ensure that the truckers see them and are aware of their location on the road. Additionally, the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee recommends that people make sure they are able to see the entire front end of large trucks in their rear view mirrors before they pull in front of them.

Consult With An Attorney

When New Yorkers are involved in trucking accidents, the injuries they suffer often require extensive medical treatment. This care may lead to undue costs, which includes medical expenses and lost income. Those who have been injured in such collisions may benefit from seeking legal guidance. An attorney may help them to understand their options for pursuing financial compensation.

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