Monitoring truck accidents in New York City

New York residents may soon be getting help from the city to improve safety on roads designated as part of truck routes.

Large trucks can pose a danger to other motorists and pedestrians anywhere. However, when these trucks are put on the congested streets of New York City the risk of more accidents can be even greater than in other areas. Area residents have seen how the city has consciously cracked down on pedestrian accidents recently. Now, the city council appears to be giving more attention to accidents involving large trucks.

The New York Post explains that the council is recommending that a database designed to monitor truck crashes be created. It would focus on those roads designated as part of the city's truck routes. This could give a better window into the nature of truck wrecks in New York City.

What is the extent of the problem in New York?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration maintains detailed records about motor vehicle accidents including those involving trucks. In 2013 alone, 118 people died in truck accidents in New York, 18 more than in the prior year. In 2011 and 2010, 114 and 120 such fatalities occurred and another 107 lives were lost in 2009.

During the five years, from 2009 to 2013, the NHTSA data shows how many of these deaths happened within the boundaries of New York City. Information including the following:

  • In both New York and Suffolk Counties, 49 people died in truck accidents.
  • In Nassau County, 32 people died in truck accidents.
  • In both Kings and Queens Counties, 30 people died in truck accidents.
  • In Bronx County, 26 people died in truck accidents.

Put together, there were 216 truck-related accident fatalities in New York City between 2009 and 2013.

What else can improve safety?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration understands that speeding, driver fatigue and substance use can all be problems associated with truck accidents. In some cases, more than one of these factors can be involved in a single accident. Such is the case with a fatal accident earlier in 2015 that killed a comedian after his vehicle was struck by a trucker. The National Transportation Safety Board identified both fatigue and speeding as influences in the crash.

Business Insurance explains that the FMCSA may consider ways to monitor the speed of drivers. Reducing trucker fatigue is the goal of a rule that is currently on hold per Supply Chain Digest. The additional research required by Congress is now completed and will be presented soon.

Regarding impaired driving, the Commercial Carrier Journal outlines details about a new rule that should be implemented soon regarding improved screening of drivers. Bulk Transporter adds that commercial drivers will be subject to random substance tests as well.

When preventative measures fail and accidents still happen, victims must take action. Contacting an attorney at these times is always recommended.