Articles Tagged with Chicago Truck Accident Attorney

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Truck Accident Lawyers in Chicago
Semi-trucks are many, many times the size of the cars we drive and, as such, are involved in some of the deadliest accidents on our roads. These giant commercial trucks are everywhere – because the demand for consumer goods is nearly endless. Big rigs are the mechanism by which we move consumer goods to their rightful owners. As more and more 18-wheelers crowd our highways, it’s important to consider the safety implications. Jackknife accidents are one such concern, and they happen to frequently be attributable to trucker error.

Semi-Truck Accidents: The Statistics

Semis are everywhere, and accidents happen – often such accidents are deadly. Accident statistics reflect the uptick in our nation’s demand for evermore consumer goods. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shares some sobering statistics related to semi accidents:

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Truck Accidents in Chicago

Every day, millions of cars and trucks share the nation’s roads. In most cases, they do so without incident. However, when cars and tractor-trailers do get involved in accidents, the results are overwhelmingly negative for the driver and occupants of the passenger cars.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2014, 3,903 people were killed and an estimated 111,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks. Nearly three-fourths of the deaths and injuries in those crashes were passenger vehicle occupants—and 73 percent were occupants of vehicles other than the trucks involved. Obviously, not all of those accidents were override accidents, but a significant portion were, and override accidents can prove particularly deadly.

A National Highway Transportation Safety Agency study found that override occurs in nearly three-fourths of car-truck collisions where the front end of the truck is involved. While this includes both head-on and rear-end collisions, the latter are far more common. The study determined that when the truck front was involved in the accident, there was override in 72 percent of the collisions. Most car occupants in override accidents die or are severely injured. An analysis of statistics by the National Academies Press confirmed these findings.

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Truck Accident Lawyers in Chicago

Just more than a year ago, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) proposed rules requiring speed-limiters on heavy trucks. This would mandate speed governors on large commercial vehicles that would prevent tractor-trailer rigs from exceeding specified speed limits. The proposed regulations suggested potential limits of 60, 65, or 68 miles per hour.

According to an industry publication, the rule would require a speed-governing device on all new trucks. Each vehicle, as manufactured and sold, would be required to have a device that would set a speed that the vehicle could not exceed. Speeding has been cited as a major cause of commercial truck accidents, and these automatic speed limiters were proposed to protect all motorists on the roads from unnecessary harm due to speeding trucks.

Because the rule would be enacted and enforced by both the NHTSA and the FMSCA, it would apply more broadly than a rule set by one or the other agency alone. The proposed NHTSA rule would require speed limiters for all multipurpose passenger vehicles, including vans, minivans, trucks, buses, and school buses, while the proposed FMCSA rule would require the limiters only for commercial motor vehicles.

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Commercial truck drivers have a huge responsibility, as they are behind the wheel of giant vehicles that can cause severe injuries or death should they make a mistake on the road. Unfortunately, not only do some truck drivers make mistakes, but others sometimes choose to act in a dangerous manner on the highway. Such dangerous driving leads to many of the estimated 415,000 commercial truck crashes that happen per year, which in turn cause around 116,000 injuries.

While dangerous truck drivers should be held fully accountable for their behaviors, the trucking companies that hired these drivers may also be held liable for negligent hiring.

Negligent Hiring Claims

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Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer

Every commercial truck driver should be fully aware of the Illinois traffic laws and federal regulations with which they must comply to drive safely. However, in some cases, truck drivers are expected to use their judgment and make decisions about safe driving in order to prevent crashes and serious injuries. One such instance is when adverse weather conditions are present.

While a speed limit may officially be 60 miles per hour for trucks on a highway, there may be times when it is unsafe for a truck driver to travel at that speed. The following weather conditions can create higher risks at faster speeds:

  • Rain