For any readers that follow our articles, you will know that we recently posted about some of the common causes of trucking accidents. With over 10,345 trucking accidents in New York in a single year, it is of the utmost importance that the New York state legislature starts to look into reducing these dangerous crashes, and two of the most common causes are driver fatigue and distraction.
According to the statistics cited in our article, driver fatigue contributed to 159 accidents. This number includes both truckers who were tired and truckers who fell asleep behind the wheel. Far more common, however, are the accidents caused by driver distraction, which helped to cause 1,867 accidents. While it is not entirely clear what percentage of these 2,026 accidents were fatal, there were more than 90 trucking fatalities reported throughout the year.
So, in an effort to combat trucking accidents, New York law has been trying to limit both fatigue and distraction. One of the laws creates new guidelines on working hours for drivers. Drivers are encouraged to minimize the time on the road, which may mean that employers push drivers well-past their limits. In an effort to curb that, restrictions on how long a driver can work in a week could help relieve trucker fatigue.
Another new law is meant to reduce distraction. The law makes it illegal for truck drivers to use any handheld cellphone devices while the truck is running. If a commercial driver wishes to use his or her cellphone, he or she must turn the truck off. While this has been a rule for interstate drivers for a while, New York has now expanded the rule to anyone driving within the state.
Trucks can be wildly dangerous. From their size to their weight to their speed, they can decimate a car in the wrong place at the wrong time. Reducing trucker fatigue and distraction, however, should hopefully keep motorists safer on New York roads.