Accidents involving large trucks are getting a closer look by both the federal and city governments. The goal is to improve safety for all New Yorkers.
Large trucks and other commercial vehicles on the streets of New York are just one of many concerns for local residents. Vision Zero has made headway in improving pedestrian safety so now the city council is looking at how it can improve safety concerning truck crashes.
One proposal suggests that accidents and truck routes be monitored through a new database. Users could search the records by borough, route or precinct. A study about the safety of cyclists and pedestrians on truck routes is also being conducted.
HOW EXTENSIVE IS THE PROBLEM?
According to records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, crashes involving large trucks killed 118 people in New York in 2013 alone. In the four years before that, truck accident fatalities numbers 100 in 2012, 114 in 2011, 120 in 2010 and 107 in 2009.
A review of the statistics by county shows how serious truck accidents are in New York. Detailed data shows the following for the years from 2009 to 2013:
- In New York and Suffolk Counties, 49 people died each.
- In Nassau County, 32 people died.
- In Kings and Queens Counties, 30 people died each.
- In Bronx County, 26 people died.
In all, there were 216 deaths recorded due to truck collisions in the greater New York City area over these five years.
WHAT IS BEING DONE AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is attempting to address speed, fatigue and substance use in order to improve safety. The National Transportation Safety Board notes that a well-known comedian died in a trucking accident. Fatigue and speed were both noted to be factors in the deadly crash.
Business Insurance indicates that the installation of special speed-monitoring devices could help to curb excessive speeding on the part of commercial drivers. Fatigue is getting attention as the results of recently completed research could be provided by the end of December according to JOC.com. This research could help support the reinstatement of the hours of service rule from 2013. Supply Chain Digest explains that the rule was put on hold pending the research.
The use of drugs or alcohol by truckers is the subject of a new database that the Commercial Carrier Journal indicates could be complete in 2016. It will be part of a pre-hire screening process. At the same time, random substance tests can be conducted per Bulk Transporter.
WHAT MORE CAN BE DONE?
Getting help after an accident is important as it is unlikely that all trucking accidents could ever be prevented. Victims should always call an attorney promptly for help seeking compensation.