16-year-old Bicyclist Injured In Tractor-Trailer Truck Accident In Starkey On State Route 14A
YATES COUNTY, NEW YORK (October 3, 2021) – A teenager riding a bicycle was injured in a Starkey semi-truck accident along State Route 14A not far from Fenno Road.
Yates County officials are saying that the accident took place around 6:49 a.m. on Tuesday, November 2nd. A semi-truck was traveling down the road in predawn conditions when he struck the bicyclist.
The exact circumstances of the crash remain unknown, but police are implying that the bicyclist was struck from behind. Firefighters and police officials were called to the scene of the accident in order to help the victim.
The bicyclist was flown by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital with head and leg injuries. Sheriff’s Office officials are saying that charges may be issued against the truck driver pending a full investigation.
Liability In Starkey Semi-Truck Accidents
According to one report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), nearly 4,000 people are killed every year in semi-truck accidents. Pedestrians and those in passenger vehicles tend to be at the greatest risk. Commercial trucks tend to have large blind spots that can easily obscure the presence of bicyclists and smaller vehicles. There are a number of other factors that can make commercial trucks particularly dangerous.
- Stopping Distance: A commercial truck traveling at 65 mph can take the length of two football fields to come to a complete stop.
- Driver Fatigue: Truck drivers have difficult jobs and are often forced to work long hours. Fatigue remains the number one factor behind commercial truck accidents.
- Driver Inexperience: Driving a commercial truck is much more difficult than driving a passenger vehicle. Many collisions occur due to drivers that aren’t sufficiently experienced with how their truck handles.
Truck drivers must get a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and are held to a high standard in terms of safety. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), “CDL holders are held to a higher standard when operating any type of motor vehicle on public roads. Serious traffic violations committed by a CDL holder can affect their ability to maintain their CDL certification.” If a truck driver is negligent and hits a pedestrian they could be held at fault.
According to New York Vehicle & Traffic Law § 1231, “Every person riding a bicycle […] shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this title.” All drivers have a legal obligation to exercise due care in order to avoid hitting bicyclists. Pursuant to New York Vehicle & Traffic Law § 1146(a), drivers must take action to avoid pedestrians and bicyclists in the roadway. During periods of reduced visibility, drivers may need to reduce their speed below posted speed limits. Victims of truck accidents tend to suffer very serious and costly injuries including:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
The FMCSA requires commercial trucks to have at least $750,000 – $5,000,000 in insurance coverage depending on what they are transporting. Any person that is injured may be able to seek justice through a bodily injury claim. Damages can help cover lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. Victims often suffer long-term disabilities after a serious truck accident. Sadly, truck companies will often fight hard to deny liability for any collision involving their driver. A New York truck accident attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating A Yates County Semi-Truck Accident
We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. extend our best wishes to the bicyclist injured in this Starkey collision. Any person that may have information about what took place should reach out to authorities. There needs to be some transparency and accountability about what happened.
This accident raises a number of safety concerns. What was this truck driver doing prior to the collision? Were they distracted? Were they fatigued? Could this tragedy have been prevented? The vast majority of bicycle accidents are preventable and due to drivers that fail to scan the road ahead of them.