5 tips to avoid New York trucking accidents

Some trucking accidents are unavoidable, however, there are things that drivers can do to help safely share the road with large commercial vehicles.

According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 11,848 collisions involving large trucks across the state in 2014 alone. Due to the size difference between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles, such accidents often result in severe injuries or death for the occupants of the smaller automobiles. Sometimes, trucking accidents cannot be prevented. There are things that drivers can do, however, to help ensure their safety when sharing the road with tractor trailers.

Keep out of the blind spots

Just because truckers sit higher than the drivers of other vehicles does not necessarily mean they can see better. Large commercial vehicles have blind spots directly behind and in front of them, as well as on both sides. When in these areas, or no-zones, the truckers may be unable to see them or their vehicles.

Therefore, it is recommended that drivers stay out of tractor trailers' blind spots. Instead, they should position their vehicles so they can be seen in the trucks' side mirrors. Ensuring that truckers can see them may help them avoid some truck accidents.

Be patient when passing

As a result of their size, it generally takes longer for people to pass large trucks than it takes to pass smaller vehicles. Thus, drivers are advised to make certain they have enough time and clear road ahead of them before attempting to pass tractor trailers. Doing so may help guarantee they are able to return to their lanes if there is an oncoming hazard.

Avoid following too closely

Unlike passenger vehicles, the bumpers on large commercial vehicles are not shock absorbent. Further, the bumpers on these vehicles do not line up with those on smaller automobiles. Consequently, people may sustain serious damages or injuries if they rear-end tractor trailers. It is suggested that drivers leave ample room between the rear of these vehicles and the fronts of their own so they are able to stop in time to avoid a truck accident.

Be aware of turning trucks

Tractor trailers need more room to maneuver than smaller automobiles. Therefore, they may have to cross the center line or swing wide in the opposite direction in order to turn safely. It is important that motorists be aware of this so they do not crowd turning trucks. They may consider moving closer to the side of the road or backing up to help prevent a sideswipe or crushing collision.

Watch out for turbulence

Especially when they are traveling at highway speeds, it is common for large commercial vehicles to create air turbulence. These wind gusts may cause drivers to lose control of their automobiles if they are not prepared. The New York Governor's Safety Committee advises motorists to keep a firm grip on their steering wheels when they pass oncoming trucks. This may help counter the effects of the turbulence, and thus, circumvent a possible truck crash.

Seeking legal guidance

When New Yorkers are injured in trucking accidents, the effects may be devastating. They may need medical treatment and might have to take time away from work to recover. This may lead to medical bills and lost income. Under some circumstances, the trucker or trucking companies may be responsible for the damages. Therefore, those who have sustained injuries in such collisions may benefit from consulting with an attorney to discuss their rights and options for pursuing compensation.