You have probably heard on the news about truck driver fatigue, and the long days many New York truckers put in. The law says they are allowed to drive for 11 hours of their maximum 14-hour days, and that seems like enough to exhaust anyone. Many stay out on the road longer, though, and do what they can to make it appear they are within the law. Why?
When a large truck collision occurs, it may leave victims with a wide range of hardships. If you are hit by a large truck, you may sustain a serious injury or face financial problems afterwards. Worse, some people lose their lives in these wrecks, which can be particularly threatening due to a truck's massive size and the length of time it often takes truckers to slow down. In New York, and all over the country, many of these accidents happen on an annual basis and leave victims with a wide range of injuries.
Like self-driving passenger vehicles, large trucks in New York will soon be driven more by technology than the person in the driver’s seat. According to CNBC, that day may come in the very near future, as one company tests its truck platooning system on roads across America.
While most commuters in New York probably do not stop and check their vehicles for any issues before heading to work for the day, expectations for commercial truck drivers are different. According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, truckers must perform a thorough inspection before climbing into the driver’s seat each day. The commercial driver’s license manual requires them to demonstrate their knowledge and ability to review the condition of the vehicles.
A motor vehicle crash involving a large truck has more deadly potential based on the size and weight ratio when compared to passenger cars, trucks and SUVs. Often in New York, the victims are the ones in the smaller vehicles. Accidents may also become a danger to first responders and other officials, and could even affect other people in the area.
In New York, you might encounter quite a few commercial vehicles on your commute every day, thanks to consumer demand for goods bolstering the trucking industry. While the growing need for increased shipping across the nation’s highways indicates a healthy economy, the physical strain from long hours on the road may be detrimental to the individual health of truckers. According to Science Daily, the lifestyle that comes from long days on the road and difficult shifts is linked to health conditions that compromise commercial vehicle operators’ ability to drive, as well as your safety on the roads around them.
Whenever alcohol enters the system, alteration of focus, concentration and mental clarity begin to occur. The New York Department of Motor Vehicles claims that alcohol can cause jerky starts and improper passing as well as preventing drivers from staying in their lanes. Drunk drivers also commonly run red lights and fail to use signals. Even at low blood alcohol concentration levels, drivers may be less alert and find that their vehicle operation skills are impaired.
Fatigue is a serious problem that affects truck drivers across the country. Drowsy driving alone is often deadly, and can be even more dangerous when combined with additional hazards, such as icy roads or sun glare. In 2015, 126 people were killed in New York State in large truck accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This number was higher than the previous several years, indicating that there may be serious safety issues regarding the trucking industry and the general public.
New York State is known for its congested highways and the prevalence of large trucks sharing the roads. Over the years, numerous accidents involving big rigs have caused concern among not only the public, but local legislators.
During the fall, road construction sites across New York are likely to be wrapping up to prepare for winter. For the next few weeks, drivers in Schenectady and elsewhere may encounter construction equipment, cones, lane closures and workers who are attempting to get the job done before cold weather sets in.