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In truck accidents, passenger vehicle occupants fare worse

Whether traveling to visit family, driving to and from work or simply setting off on an adventure, interstates and highways are commonly-traveled roads in New York. However, just because they are frequently used does not mean that interstates are inherently safe. Most are populated with large 18-wheelers, hauling heavy loads over long distances. Truck accidents involving these types of tractor-trailers can be devastating for victims.

It is no secret that most truck drivers are chronically fatigued, the role that driver fatigue plays in truck accidents has been well-documented by researchers. Current federal regulations that govern hours of service allow drivers to spend as much as 11 hours behind the wheel. While this is already a significant amount of time, a survey discovered that a significant number of drivers actively violate these regulations, spending much more time driving than is permitted.

These large trucks also take much longer to brake than smaller motor vehicles. Since reaction time is an essential part of driving safely, fatigued drivers might take longer to notice that they need to apply the brakes. This can be especially dangerous when New York roads are wet or otherwise slippery.

Truck accidents are most dangerous for occupants of smaller passenger vehicles. Large tractor-trailers can weight as much as 30 times more than other vehicles on the road, and are often unstoppable forces in accidents. As such, most fatalities occur in passenger vehicles while truck drivers fare much better. Compensation for injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one is often essential for the healing and grieving process. Personal injury claims can provide legal recourse for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and more, while wrongful death claims typically lead to necessary compensation for the victim's estate.

Source: iihs.org, "Large trucks", Accessed on Dec. 11, 2017

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