Chicago trucking accidents are a summer hazard, as more of us hit the road through the warm summer months. Teenagers and younger, less experienced drivers, may be at particularly high risk. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is urging teens, parents and other safety advocates to talk about the risks of trucking accidents in Illinois and elsewhere.
Our Chicago accident attorneys have reported about the high risk of teen car accidents over the long summer break. But when it comes to semis and other large commercial trucks, we are all at high risk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports nearly 3,400 were killed and 74,000 injured in 300,000 commercial trucking accidents in 2009.
Of those, more than 80 percent were occupants of passenger vehicles involved in crashes with large trucks, or were non-occupants, such as bicyclists or pedestrians. Illinois trucking accidents claimed 90 lives in 2009.
The FMCSA reports a fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh 80,000 pounds — 20 times the weight of a passenger car — and can require twice as long to stop. Trucks also have large blind spots, which can result in passing accidents.
“We want everyone to be safe, but as newer drivers, teens must adhere to a few simple rules,” said Anne Ferro, Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. “They are: buckle up, don’t drink and drive; don’t speed, don’t text or use your phone, and steer clear of a truck’s blind spots.”
Federal statistics show the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the deadliest days of the year for teen drivers. An average of 16 teens die on the nation’s roads each day during the summer — twice as many as are killed during the rest of the year. In the last 5 years, nearly 4,000 motorists between the ages of 16 and 24 have been killed in crashes with large trucks.
Just this week, a 21-year-old Chicago man was killed while driving a minivan in Milwaukee after his vehicle was involved in a crash with three semis, the Oak Creek Patch reported.
“Prom, graduation, and summer are fantastic times for youth to celebrate and enjoy. However, with these fun times come unfortunate tragedies,” said Sandy Spavone, President of the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS). “Through education, enforcement, and legislation lives can be saved and injuries prevented.”
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident in Illinois, contact the Chicago car accident attorneys at Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.