According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, in 2013 alone there were 11,452 truck accidents in New York State. 94 of these accidents resulted in fatalities and 3,828 people were injured. In order to protect citizens against the tragic consequences of truck accidents, New York City has imposed special laws to protect pedestrians and drivers on New York City’s crowded, narrow, roadways. New York City’s specialized restrictions take into account the fact that the roads are often traveled by vulnerable road users—including pedestrian and bicyclists.
Here are three little-known truck laws and initiatives in New York City that could save your life.
- Trucks are limited to using certain roadways in New York City. According to the New York Department of Transportation, New York City has 1,000 miles of roads. Yet, trucks are restricted to using truck-specific routes in the city. Commercial vehicles are limited to using either local truck routes or through truck routes. You can protect yourself by learning about the routes most frequented by trucks and, if you ride bike or walk, it may be safer to find an alternate route that avoids known truck routes. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident while walking or driving in an area where trucks are not allowed to operate, you may be entitled to compensation for the driver’s failure to properly follow city law. Of course, trucks are allowed to use local routes when finalizing a delivery, so it may be helpful to speak to Antin, Ehrlich, & Epstein, L.L.P. a personal injury law firm in New York to better understand your rights, responsibilities, and the truck driver’s responsibilities to you.
- Trucks operating in the city are required to use cross over mirrors. Cross over mirrors on trucks are cheap and easy to install and they allow truck drivers the ability to better see pedestrians crossing the street. Because of a truck’s height, drivers may have increased difficulty seeing pedestrians. This blind spot has led to many pedestrian deaths. In order to protect pedestrians, commercial vehicles registered in New York state that operate in New York are required to install cross over mirrors. Yet, not all trucks have special mirrors installed. Out of state drivers or vehicles may not be properly equipped to see pedestrians.
- New York City is part of a pilot program to limit truck delivery hours to “off” hours between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. Traffic leads to more accidents. Truck traffic during rush hour and the daytime costs everyone. Citizens pay for injuries that result from accidents, and businesses pay from delays due to missed deliveries. Off-hour deliveries can reduce the risk of accidents and lead to more efficient delivery. While “off-hour delivery” is not yet a law, many are pushing to make this initiative law in the city. Individuals can protect their safety by urging local businesses to participate and by writing to local officials about the importance of making off-hour deliveries the law.
Sadly, despite important laws and initiatives in New York City, countless individuals die and are injured every year in truck accidents. If you’ve been a victim, a truck accident lawyer may be able to assist you in collecting a fair recovery. There are many federal and local laws designed to protect you. Antin, Ehrlich, & Epstein,LLP, attorneys at law in New York can review your case and make sure you get the justice you deserve.