Articles Posted in Truck Accident

12715(2)What concerns you about the conduct of other drivers? Do you worry about people driving while using their cell phone? What about driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs? Are those who speed and dart in and out of traffic your primary concern? What about confused motorists who brake or stop in the middle of heavy traffic simply because they do not know where they are going?

Everyone has concerns about the actions of others and for good reason – your safety on an Illinois roadway depends in part upon your conduct and in part upon the conduct of others. But while speeding, failing to yield, and driving erratically are widely understood, few people realize how much of a threat truck driver fatigue poses to them and to those they love.

Truck driver fatigue accidents plague Chicago and the rest of our state just as they plague roads all across our country. These collision occur when the driver of a semi-truck or other large truck operate while they are tired or sleepy, limiting their ability to act in a reasonable and responsible manner and increasing the odds that they will be involved in a crash. It is hard to know exactly how many lives are affected by truck driver fatigue crashes annually but the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that nearly 4,000 people die every year in large truck accidents and that driver fatigue is believed to be a leading cause in those crashes and the resulting deaths.

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truckAn average American driver is involved in two to three car accidents or traffic incidents in her lifetime. Those who drive more miles or more minutes than average are at an increased risk for collisions and many drivers will experience far more than three accidents during their driving careers, some of which may cause damages that last long after the dust settles. While a vehicle can always be repaired or replaced, the personal injuries sustained by a victim may not heal as easily or may be permanent in nature.

If a large truck is involved in a collision, the damages that result are likely to be greater than if a smaller vehicle were to take the truck’s place. Simply put, the overwhelming size, weight, and build of a truck means that another vehicle is not going to put up much resistance if the truck strikes it and the results can be catastrophic. The propensity of a truck to cause such extreme harm is one of the reasons that commercial truck drivers must undergo additional testing and maintain certain national and state eligibility standards before they can drive legally in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois. Nonetheless, even with these semi stringent restrictions, truck accidents take place every day in this country and victims are left wondering how they can pick up the pieces and move forward with their lives.

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20140424_084736A recent truck accident in a southern Chicago suburb is bringing renewed attention to the dangers posed by large vehicles on public roadways as well as reminding motorists of what they should do to keep themselves as safe as possible.

Because of semi-truck’s large size, when one is involved in a collision the results can be disastrous. The maximum weight of a semi-truck and full trailer is 80,000 pounds, while the average passenger vehicle weighs less than 3,500 pounds, meaning a semi-truck can be 22 times the size of a car. With this it is easy to see how a collision with a big rig can be deadly, especially when factoring in high speeds and potentially dangerous cargo.

“Almost 4,000 people lose their lives in large truck accidents every year, and truck driver fatigue shares a large portion of the blame.”
– Attorney David Slepkow, this website

Although most truck drivers are responsible and abide by hours of service rules, there are many who ignore regulations.

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51016Not all car accidents are the same. It is a simple statement but one that needs to be understood for the sake of all those who use the streets, expressways, and interstates in and around Chicago. Fortunately, a number of collisions that happen annually are minor and cause only damage to the vehicles involved, sparing drivers and passengers from any harm. Unfortunately, the remaining incidents can cause a range of injuries that may leave a victim in need of immediate medical help or that may even claim her life.

Car accidents regularly range from the very minor to the extremely critical, but when it comes to a truck accident, there is far less variability. Truck accidents and collisions are less common than those only involving cars in Illinois but they are disproportionately responsible for traffic-related injuries and fatalities here and across the county. The physics behind these incidents are simple: trucks are large, heavy vehicles that take a long time to start and stop. When they are traveling at a moderate or high speed and collide with a vehicle much smaller than them, the forces involved in the incident will cause heavy damage to the smaller vehicles, threatening the safety of those inside the cars.

One of the most troubling types of truck incidents continues to be truck underride accidents, a type of collision where a passenger vehicle goes partially or entirely under a truck or trailer. These crashes lead to damage to the passenger compartment of the vehicle, increasing the odds of an injury or death among those in the vehicle.

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33016On some days, trucks seem like a constant presence on Illinois roadways, winding their way from one spot to another and keeping to themselves. They may inconvenience other drivers who get stuck behind them or who wish the truck would move a little quicker but mostly, they present a minor issue or annoyance. This can change in moment, however, if a truck accident takes place in Chicago or elsewhere in the state. In those cases, the lives of the motorists and passengers involved may be altered forever by the fallout from the collision and from any injuries that result.

Truck accidents are less common than car crashes but the harm that spreads from truck collisions may cause a greater amount of devastation. A typical truck is large, heavy, and difficult t slow or stop which means that it is capable of doing great damage to another vehicle – particularly if that other vehicle is smaller and lighter, like a car, truck, or SUV.

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121015Trucking is an important industry for the country as a whole as it moves product across the nation and employs millions. But trucks are forced to share the same roads as passenger vehicles, a fact that can sometimes lead to conflict when an impact occurs. No matter the cause of a crash, odds are that those in a passenger car, SUV, or pickup truck will bear the majority of the force – these vehicles simply are not constructed to withstand an impact with a large, heavy, and often difficult to maneuver semi-truck.

Decades ago, national regulations were implemented to consider the consequences of passenger safety when a semi-truck accident happens on America’s roads. One provision required the use of underride guards, commonly visible to motorists as the metal crossbar that hangs down from the rear of a semi’s trailer. These underride guards are designed to stop a car that is colliding with the rear of a truck, thereby preventing the car from becoming lodged underneath the trailer. By preventing a car from traveling under a trailer, the odds of serious injuries to those in the car decrease significantly, limiting the harm sustained and the number of fatalities that can be attributed to truck accidents.

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12715(2)The average driver believes she is safer than most when on the road. She claims that she drives reasonably, defensively, and appropriately most of the time or at least more often than not. Though studies continue to reveal that Americans pride themselves on their individual skills in a car, they are distrustful of others and consider the majority of motorists to be sub-par. This disconnect means that many see themselves as the measuring rod of driving abilities while in fact, they may fall short of being considered a motorist of even average skill.

Removing complacency from your daily driving habits is an expert-recommended way to sharpen and hone your skills. This means thinking about your actions and the effects that result from them, both for you personally and for others on the road. It also means refreshing your knowledge and continuing to learn about safety programs, tips, and advice that can help keep you safe and prevent a collision.

As semi-truck accidents are a very deadly reality in the Chicago area, it is a good idea to realize why these crashes take place and what can be done to avoid them.

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91515.jpgThe trucking industry is vital to the American economy and is responsible for the transit of a large amount of goods across the nation. From coast-to-coast, trucks take to the roads and haul everything from produce to textiles to machinery, enabling work to get done and products to reach consumers.

But trucks have plenty of drawbacks as well as the benefits they provide. When compared to a typical passenger vehicle, trucks are large, heavy, and difficult to operate. They require additional maintenance to keep them moving and they are harder to start and stop than a car. And the most troubling thing about trucks is the threat they pose to public safety.
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81315.jpgSemi-trucks and big rigs pose a unique threat to those who drive in the Chicago area. Though semis make up only 4.3 percent of all registered vehicles in the nation, they are involved in 10 percent of all fatal crashes. The large size and often heavy weight of a semi-truck means that a smaller car is likely to sustain substantial damage in the event the two collide, and with damage to a vehicle comes a very real possibility of injuries or even death to those involved.

With injuries comes a number of issues experienced by the majority of truck accident victims in the Chicago area including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. These effects can harm not only the individual involved in the collision but also that individual’s family members, loved ones, friends, coworkers, and neighbors. Fortunately victims may not be forced to suffer these financial tolls if they choose to exercise the right to seek relief against an at-fault driver and/or an insurance company for the harm they suffered. Working with a personal injury attorney can help victims realize if they have a valid civil claim, and if so, whether they can obtain payment for their damages in a court of law.
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62515.jpgA typical semi-truck hauling a trailer is up to 20 times the size of a standard passenger car, taking up additional room and posing a significant risk to cars if a collision should occur. In Illinois, statistics prove that truck accidents pose a disproportionately large threat to anyone involved who is in a much smaller vehicle: in 2011 alone, 84 percent of the people who lost their lives in collisions with trucks were in vehicles other than the truck itself.

While truck crashes continue to happen in the Chicago area, victims will continue to be injured and may even be killed, leaving behind loved ones who will never be able to recover from that loss. When a crash happens, the laws of the state are on the side of victims and are designed to help victims financially by enabling those who are hurt to seek financial compensation against an at-fault driver, company, city, or insurance company. However, victims must take the required steps to seek this relief and must do so within a time period specified by law or all rights will be lost. For these reasons, it is wise to speak with a personal injury attorney if you are involved in a Chicago truck accident and you are injured or hurt.
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