Truck accidents are among the most deadly accidents that occur on the busy streets of Illinois, and they can result in very complex legal cases. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were more than 9,000 traffic accidents involving tractor trailers in the state in 2009 alone.
Trucks are less maneuverable and take longer to stop than other vehicles. They are particularly susceptible to adverse road conditions. The average truck with trailer can range from 12,100 pounds to 80,000 pounds. The federal government allows more and more trucks to operate at an overload capacity of over 80,000 pounds.
That means a large commercial truck like an 18-wheeler weighs about 25 times the average automobile—up to 40 times more than some small cars. When you factor in the size of the truck with the speed and weight, you can see why the possibility of other vehicles becoming part of an accident is great. In fact, truck accidents account for an eighth of all traffic fatalities.
Trucks have large blind spots or “no zones” on both sides, the front, and behind the vehicle. It is extremely difficult for truck drivers to see motor vehicles in these areas. While we share roadways with a large number of trucks in Illinois, we do not necessarily share the consequences in the case of a truck-car accident. Truck drivers often walk away from accidents with no serious injuries, while the people in the other vehicle are often killed or left with devastating injuries.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
A recent study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found that truck drivers are 10 times more likely to be responsible for an accident than other factors, such as road conditions or weather. The same report also found that action or inaction by the truck driver was responsible for 88% of the accidents. Driver error is the most common cause of trucking accidents, which is often due to speeding, prescription drug use or distraction. By far the most common cause of these accidents is driver fatigue.
The next most common cause of truck accidents is equipment failure, including defective tires or design errors. The Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Traffic Safety conducted a study to identify when most trucking accident fatalities occur and under what circumstances. In Illinois, fatal crashes between trucks and other vehicles most often occur:
- On Tuesday through Friday, between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., when the weather is clear and the road is dry.
- Due to speed or improper lane use.
- When the truck driver is between 28-43 years old and the driver of the other vehicle is between 20-30 years old.
- When the driver (of the truck OR the other vehicle) has fallen asleep or has been drinking.
Legal Obligations of Truck Drivers and Trucking Companies
Truck drivers have an obligation to operate their vehicles in a safe manner. Truck drivers and trucking companies are also subject to rules and regulations that apply to the industry as a whole. This includes a limit on the hours a truck driver may drive without a break, or within a certain period of time, to reduce driver fatigue, a very common cause of truck accidents. When a truck driver or trucking company fails to comply with these obligations, they may be responsible in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
Contact Agruss Law Firm, LLC, Today
Truck accident injuries are often serious and life-changing due to the size of most tractor-trailers and semi-trucks. This is why it is essential to recover compensation to cover your lost income, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact Agruss Law Firm, LLC, for a free consultation. We are a law firm representing individuals and families who have suffered an injury or loss due to an accident.
Agruss Law Firm, LLC, will handle your personal injury case quickly, will advise you every step of the way, and will not hesitate to go to trial for you. Lastly, Agruss Law Firm, LLC, does not get paid attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. Therefore, you have nothing to risk when you hire us–just the opportunity to seek justice.
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