Have You Been Injured in a Chicago Truck Accident?
Semi trucks drive more miles on Illinois roads every year than most passenger vehicles. Yet, they account for a small number of crashes. Many reasons for this have been suggested, including the fact that:
- Trucks drive slower than most traffic on highway
- Truckers must undergo more intense training to become license
- Some truckers are more aware of the dangers associated with driving and therefore more careful of safety procedures
However, our Chicago truck accident lawyers know that even though they aren’t involved in as many accidents, semi-trucks are involved in a large number of crashes with serious injuries and fatalities.
Our lawyers have experience with seeking compensation for semi truck accident victims. We can help you and your family recover. Contact us today for a free consultation at (312) 924-7575 or by filling out our online form.
Why do semi trucks get into accidents?
Due to their size and the relatively long time it takes to slow or stop a semi, it is easy to see how the driver of a small passenger car would likely suffer injuries in a semi crash. Semi truck crashes can happen for all of the same reasons as other vehicle collisions. However, there are a few types of truck accidents that are among the most common. In the experience of our attorneys, the following list comprises some of the most common causes of semi truck accidents:
Driver error on the part of a trucker accounts for a significant percentage of all semi crashes. This category includes crashes caused by a speeding driver, a driver who fails to check a blind spot before switching lanes, and driver confusion.
Truck drivers work long hours and they have demanding schedules. The hours they drive are limited by the law. However, many drivers continue behind the wheel when they are exhausted or otherwise should be resting. Long haul drivers may be in a cab for days or weeks at a time. There’s little to break up the monotony of the road. This can lead a driver to lose focus on the road and to ignore safe driving techniques, causing a crash.
It is illegal in every state to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In Illinois, commercial drivers are held to a higher standard than the public. They can only have very little alcohol in their system. This is because the size, weight, and force of a semi-truck make them an inherent danger to others on the road. There’s a need for the utmost safety. Drivers who operate a semi under the influence pose an extreme danger to themselves and everyone else on the road.
Failing to Secure Loads
Semis in the Chicago area are often hauling trailers that are full of products. Big or small, this product needs to be properly packed and secured so the weight is distributed across the truck. Failure to properly distribute the weight makes it more likely that a truck will cause an accident. This is especially true when turning or when trying to stop. When a product is not properly tied down or stored on a flatbed trailer, it can fly off the trailer and into the path of another vehicle, causing that other vehicle to crash.
Low Filled Liquid Loads
Many trailers are designed to transport liquids, including gas and oil. These tanks can hold a certain amount of liquid before they are full. However, leaving the hold partially full can be more dangerous than you may realize. If a trailer has less than ¾ fill, the liquid can splash around inside the trailer and cause the truck to sway back and forth, especially with turns or changes in speed. When the liquid makes a sudden movement, a driver can lose control of the truck and can cause an accident.
One of the deadliest types of crashes in Chicago is a rear-end semi truck crash. This can occur when a semi truck driver fails to slow or stop their vehicle in time to prevent a crash with a car in front of them. The truck strikes the rear of the car, often with significant force. A car is not capable of taking this heavy of an impact and will likely crumble. All vehicle occupants are at risk for injuries in the event of a rear-end crash. However, backseat passengers, who are often children, have a particularly high risk of injury or death.
Whether turning right or left, a semi truck will make a wider turn than a standard passenger vehicle. This is because of its length, size, weight, and limited turning radius. However, this does not give a truck a right to turn as wide as they please and cross other lanes of traffic. Trucks still have to remain in their lane of traffic while turning and to exercise due care for others in the area. Failure to do so may result in a crash.
Many truck drivers focus on the road and nothing else while they drive. Unfortunately, not every driver takes this approach. As modern technology continues to improve, more and more drivers carry cell phones, tablets, GPS, and other gadgets. These can all be a source of distraction. Aside from technology, eating behind the wheel, conversing with a passenger, or even getting lost in a song on the radio can be a distraction. Many companies have rules about what their drivers can and cannot do behind the wheel. That being said, it is up to an individual driver to comply with these rules and with any local and federal laws.
With the demand for truck drivers being so high, sometimes commercial truck companies do not do enough to train and check on their drivers’ skills. This can lead to dangerous and severe accidents, especially since trucks are so heavy and large
Lack of Maintenance
Trucking companies and owners are required by law to maintain their vehicles and keep them in a condition that ensures safety. However, there are costs and time involved in maintaining semi and commercial trucks. This cuts into profits and time that could be used to make deliveries. Thus, poorly maintained trucks are one of the biggest causes of truck accidents in Illinois.
Should You Contact a Chicago Semi Truck Accident Lawyer?
When an accident with a truck in the Chicago area occurs, there is likely going to be injuries or fatalities. If the truck driver, the truck itself, or the company the driver works for are wholly or partially to blame, those victims with injuries may be able to make a claim for their losses with the assistance of a personal injury lawyer.
We never charge a fee unless a recovery is made on your behalf and our consultations are always free. We can determine whether one of the common causes of semi truck accidents played a role in causing your injuries.
Call the personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes at (312) 924-7575 for a free case consultation now.