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Impatience and anxiety are often factors in truck accidents

Sharing the road with large commercial vehicles that can weigh up to 40 tons can be a nerve-wracking experience for New York drivers. Passenger vehicle occupants made up 68 percent of truck accident fatalities in 2014 according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and a study conducted in 2013 revealed that the federally-mandated underride bars fitted to the rear of most trailers are only really effective when vehicles strike them in the center.

Sobering studies such as these serve to remind motorists about the hazards of driving in close proximity to semi-tractor trailers, but these risks can be mitigated. Tractor-trailers have large blind spots that allow much smaller passenger vehicles to disappear into what are known as no-zones, and researchers from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that about a third of the accidents involving passenger vehicles and commercial trucks occurred when cars, SUVs or pickup trucks entered these zones.

A great many 18-wheeler accidents are caused by impatient motorists who drive aggressively or recklessly to avoid getting stuck behind slow-moving trucks, but this kind of behavior makes crashes more likely to occur and places other road users in danger. Tractor-trailers make wide turns and take far longer to stop than cars or SUVs, and an ill-advised passing maneuver or lane change can lead to catastrophic chain-reaction crashes. Tractor trailers can also jackknife dangerously in emergency situations.

Occupants of smaller vehicles that are in truck collisions often suffer debilitating injuries that require lengthy periods of expensive medical treatment. When it can be determined that the accident was due to truck driver negligence, an attorney could assist victims in seeking compensation for their losses.

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Orin J. Cohen Law
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