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Educating pedestrians on big rig safety may save lives in Suffolk County

Many large trucks don't obey the laws and regulations, and many people are injured as a result
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    December 05, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- While many Americans don't particularly enjoy maneuvering around large semi-tractor trailers in Suffolk County, most feel comfortable knowing that these commercial trucks are held by state and federal regulations to operate their vehicles safely while on the road. Unfortunately, many large trucks don't obey the laws and regulations, and many people are injured as a result. Pedestrian accidents by semi-trucks can be avoided.

This past year alone, at least seven New York pedestrians were hit and killed by large trucks, according to Streetsblog. In one case, a teenager was crossing the street after work and was struck by the rear tires of the semi. Although the operator of the truck was given violations for neglecting to yield to a pedestrian, operating an unregistered vehicle and careless driving, no formal criminal charges were filed.

Safety reform

With the heavy amount of semi-truck traffic found in New York, residents are urging stricter safety regulations regarding semi-truck operations and a better intent to follow through with them.

Focus has also turned to pedestrians and cyclists who are urged to pay attention to traffic and follow the proper laws to keep them safe. The New York Department of Transportation's Share the Road campaign is designed to help cyclists, pedestrians, motorists and large truck operators to drive safely with one another. Safety reminders for pedestrians and cyclists include the following:
- Always cross at a designated intersection.
- Avoid texting while walking through an intersection.
- Cycle with lights at nighttime.
- Watch for turning cars.
- Avoid riding against traffic.
- Bikers should yield to pedestrians.

Educating pedestrians, cyclists and truck drivers on the rules of the road is a great way to avoid accidents.

Paying attention to semi-trucks

Whether you are driving a vehicle, riding a bicycle or walking, it is essential to know how to stay safe around semi-tractor trailers.
- Stand clear of semi-trucks when crossing the street. Always allow them plenty of room to turn, and stay on the curb until the truck has completed their turn.
- Avoid driving or standing in the blind spot of a truck.
- Never cut in front of a large truck, as it takes a large truck longer to stop than it does a smaller vehicle.
- Keep an eye out for the truck's turn signals to prepare for their next move. Make sure that you are in the right place when it happens.
- Give a large truck even more time to stop and turn during inclement weather conditions.

Educating the public about distracted driving and key safety rules may help to decrease the number of pedestrian fatalities and injuries due to big rig collisions.

Article provided by Rappaport Glass Greene & Levine LLP
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