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Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

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An unlicensed driver suffered personal injury and his passenger died after he crashed the minivan he was driving into the back of a truck. The accident happened early Tuesday morning at Tiffany Street and Barry Avenue in Hunts Point in the Bronx, NYC. The driver was arrested and charged with driving without a license. According to CBS New York, the minivan involved in the crash was stolen and the driver was also charged with grand larceny of an auto and criminal possession of stolen property.

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cement%20truck.pngA truck driver was injured in an accident during which the cement truck he was driving on the Long Island Expressway rolled over, spilling cement on the highway and blocking traffic for 3 hours. Read more in the NY Daily News.

Cement trucks are prone to rollover because not only are they designed with a high center of gravity but also because the liquid cement inside the tank is being constantly moved to avoid drying creating an uneven distribution of the weight that can cause the truck to easily overturn even at a low speed. Additionally the cement truck drivers are pressured to get to their destination as quickly as possible because the cement mix has to arrive wet at the construction site. Driving too fast or making sudden movements can result in a slosh effect that can lead a cement truck to rollover.

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To reduce the number of injuries and fatalities related to truck accidents the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) started to study the possible unintended safety consequences of the various methods by which truck drivers are compensated.

The agency issued a Notice and request for comments that can be downloaded here.

Truck drivers are usually paid by the mile and are usually not paid for time waiting to load and unload. This type of compensation may push drivers to unsafe practices in order to make a living.

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Truckdrivers.jpgIn order to better prevent truck accidents and save lives, a new provision that took effect a year ago was added to the Hours of Service rule for truck drivers. The provision limits the maximum average work week for truck drivers to 70 hours instead of 82 hours. The provision also allows truck drivers who reach the maximum 70 hours of driving within a week to resume if they rest for 34 consecutive hours, including at least two nights when their body clock demands sleep the most – from 1-5 a.m and require truck drivers to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift.

This week at the Senate Hearing on Truck Safety, the 34-hour restart provision was at the center of the discussions. Some senators waned to suspend the provision while the FMCSA studies its impact on safety arguing mostly that too many trucks are hitting the road at dawn. Anne Ferro, chief of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, defended the restart. She said that the provision helps in saving 400 lives a year and doesn’t affect truck companies. She also said that the agency estimates the provision is putting about 250,000 more trucks on the road, “a drop in the bucket compared to the 10 million” already on the road.

Read more in Heavy Duty Trucking website

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On May 23 2013, a truck carrying an oversize load struck the top of a bridge near Mt Vernon on Interstate 5 causing the bridge to collapse. Two cars and a camper trailer fell into the Sgakit river and two other cars were damaged. Occupants of the vehicles only suffered minor injuries.

As required by law a pilot escort vehicle equipped with a height pole was driving ahead of the truck. The investigation determined that the driver of the pilot vehicle had used a hands-free mobile phone and engaged in 5 phone calls in the 30 minutes preceding the accident. She was on the phone when she crossed the bridge and when the accident happened. The pilot driver told the NTSB that she didn’t observe the height pole contact the bridge structures but an off-duty commercial truck driver who was driving near the pilot car witnessed the height pole strike several bridge elements.

Read more in Truckinginfo

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Around 4000 people die and more than 100,000 people are injured every year in truck accidents.

Fatigue is one of the most common reasons why truck accidents happen.

Before crashing into Tracy Morgan’s van, the Wal-Mart truck driver didn’t sleep for 24 hours. The National Transportation Safety Board said that the driver was 13 hours into his shift at the time of the accident and the limit is 14 hours. However prior to the start of his shift, the truck driver commuted from his home in Georgia to the Wal-Mart facility in Delaware.

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A garbage truck tried to avoid a car which had run a red light and crashed into an open deli injuring 8 people last week in Brooklyn. The accident happened at the intersection of Dekalb Ave and Bedford Ave. The driver of the Metropolitan Recycling garbage truck had the green light and was driving through the intersection when he tried to avoid a black sedan which had ran the red light. He lost control of his vehicle and crashed into an open Deli located at the corner of the intersection. The deli belongs and is operated by a family who lives in the apartment above it. Two of the family members were working in the Deli while the rest of the family was asleep just above the bodega. 8 people were injured in the accident including the two drivers. The deli and the building are severely damaged.
Read more in the NY Daily News

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A 74 year old woman was dragged under a tour bus yesterday in New York and suffered critical injuries to her head and legs. The woman was crossing Seventh Ave at 14th Street when a CitySights NY tour bus struck her while turning =South onto Seventh Ave.

This is the second time this year that a pedestrian was struck by a tour bus. Last January, Alexander Shear, 73, died after being struck by a Tour Bus on the Upper West Side of Manhattan (see previous blog)

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In the event of a truck accident, interstate motor carriers need to have enough insurance to cover the harm that they may have caused. Therefore all such carriers are required by law to be insured to a minimum level. The current minimums, set in 1985, are $750,000 for general freight, $5 million for the most dangerous hazmats and $1 million for other hazmats. Following a recent report to the Congress demonstrating that minimum insurance requirements for interstate truckers were too low, the FMCSA started to work on a new rule.

However yesterday, the U.S. House approved an amendment that would stop the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from changing insurance minimums. The amendment is a long way from becoming law but it highlights opposition to the agency even considering a change in the minimums.

Read more in Trucking Info

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Jose Duran was driving his truck on the Cross Bronx expressway when a manhole cover crashed through his windshield striking him in the head. He lost control of his vehicle and crashed into another tractor trailer. No one else was hurt. Duran was declared dead upon his arrival at the hospital.

Read more in the New York Daily News