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Erie County Among Top Ten for Large Truck Fatalities Statewide

In all, 92 people lost their lives in a combined 83 accidents with distracted driving and driver fatigue.
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    January 18, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Erie County Among Top Ten for Large Truck Fatalities Statewide

Article provided by Gelber & O'Connell, LLC
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For semi-trucks, tractor-trailer, oversize box or other delivery trucks, the rate of serious personal injury or even death that can occur when these vehicles are involved in an accident can be high. Drivers in Erie County should take note of this as they were tied for eighth place for the most number of deaths resulting from truck accidents in 2011 according to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Of the 50 vehicular fatalities in Erie County for 2011, more than eight percent happened in crashes that involved a minimum of one truck. These deaths also represent more than four percent of the statewide total related to truck collisions.

Causes of Large Truck Accidents

A large percentage of all personal injury claims around the country pertain to motor vehicle accidents, including those with large trucks. The causes of such accidents can be many and range from those involving factors controllable by drivers to those outside of a driver's control such as drunk driving of others or poor weather and road conditions, respectively.

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles records from 2011 indicate the following:
-Lost consciousness contributed to 36 truck crashes.
-Distracted driving was noted in 1,867 truck wrecks.
-Truck driver fatigue was a factor in 43 accidents.
-Another 116 incidents resulted when truckers fell asleep while at the wheel.

In all, 92 people lost their lives in a combined 83 accidents with distracted driving and driver fatigue, including falling asleep when driving, being noted as causes of truck accidents.

State and Federal Governments Step In

In the summer of 2012, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association's new laws governing the working hours and required break durations and numbers of truck drivers went into effect. The goal of the legislation is clear--to reduce truck driver fatigue and therefore cut down the number of associated accidents.

A few months later, at the end of October, the State of New York enacted a new law banning all mobile handheld device use for truckers while their engines are on. Prior to this law, drivers could use their phones by hand while at stop signs or lights but were not allowed to use them while actually driving unless in a hands-free mode. This change brings New York State into compliance with laws governing interstate trucking, which has had a similar ban for some time. Reducing instances of distracted driving is the intended reason for this new law.

Options for Victims of Truck Accidents

Knowing that new laws are focused on increasing safety for all motorists who share the road with truckers is always positive. However, accidents can and will still happen. In these situations, victims are always encouraged to contact an attorney with specific experience handling trucking accident cases to ensure that their rights are properly identified and met.

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