Increased speeds could increase risk of Illinois car accidents and Interstate trucking accidents

Lawmakers are considering a back-to-back increase in the speed limit for semis and large trucks, which opponents contend could increase the risk of Illinois trucking accidents.

Lawmakers in the senate have proposed a law that would increase the speed limit to 70 mph on downstate highways. The new rule would apply to both cars and trucks and effect mostly rural interstate highways, WJBD News reported.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Dale Risinger, of Peoria, said he didn’t think the increased speed for trucks would be a safety hazard. “Thirty-three states have 70 mph or greater on their highways, and those that have raised their speed limits have shown their accident rates haven’t increased.”

As reported on our Chicago Car Accident Lawyers blog, Illinois semis were just given the green light on Jan. 1 to increase speeds to 65 mph on most interstates outside the Chicago area.

Before Gov. Pat Quinn signed that increase into law, trucks were limited to 55 mph on Illinois highways.

Like that increase, the proposed legislation would not allow the higher speed limit for trucks traveling in Cook, Dupage, Kane, Lake, Mchenry and Will counties in the Chicago area.

Many people underestimate the increase in force that comes with a Chicago car accident at interstate speeds. As we reported last year in our Illinois Safe Driving series, speed not only increases a driver’s reaction time, it exponentially increases the force of collision — so an accident is not twice as likely to be fatal at 50 mph than at 25 mph — federal research shows it is 15 times more likely to be fatal.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a semi in Illinois, the Chicago car accident attorneys and Illinois trucking accidents lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.