You probably see them every day: semi-trucks. They are on streets, roads, and in alleyways, driving on expressways and interstates, and hauling product to and from stores. Semi-trucks serve a vital role in the lives of Chicago residents yet they simultaneous pose a threat to safety. Semis are substantially larger and heavier than most other vehicles on the road, creating disproportion in these categories and a perilous situation should a collision occur.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (“IDOT”) follows the traffic crashes that occur in Illinois and compiles statistics regarding the totality of the collisions. According to IDOT, the follow statistics are true for 2012:
- There were 10,238 accidents involving semi-trucks;
- Of those collisions, 1,714 resulted in injuries of some kind;
- Semi-trucks with trailers were involved in 91 fatal accidents;
- In those fatal crashes, only 9 people inside the semi-trucks were killed. The rest of the victims were in another vehicle or were near the scene where the collision occurred;
- Semi-trucks made up two percent of all traffic crashes in the state, about 1.5 percent of all traffic-related injuries, and more than six percent of all fatalities, illustrating that though semi-trucks make up a small percentage of overall accidents, these collisions are responsible for a disproportionately large percentage of the fatalities;
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) follows truck collisions statistics on a national level as compiled by different local and state agencies. NHTSA groups these vehicles as large trucks and defines them as vehicles with a gross weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds. Among large trucks in the United States in 2012, the following statistics hold true:
- 333,000 large truck traffic accidents occurred;
- In those collisions, 3,921 people were killed and 104,000 people were injured;
- 697 truck occupants were killed while inside a large truck. Of those, 424 people were killed in single vehicle collisions while 273 people were killed in multiple vehicle crashes;
- 2,843 vehicle occupants outside of a large truck, i.e. those in passenger cars, were killed;
- 381 non-vehicular occupants, including bicyclists and pedestrians, were killed;
- 25,000 occupants of large trucks were injured with 9,000 being injured in single vehicle collisions and 17,000 being injured in multiple vehicle crashes;
- 76,000 occupants of vehicles other than a large truck, like a passenger car, were hurt;
- 3,000 non-vehicular occupants were injured in large truck collisions;
- Nationally, four percent of all registered vehicles were large trucks. Nine percent of all miles traveled were driver by large trucks;
- Large trucks were responsible for three percent of all injury and property-damage only collisions but eight percent of all fatal accidents, showing large trucks to be disproportionately responsible for traffic deaths in the country;
While common belief may suggest an accident is most likely when a vehicle is turning, statistics do not support this conclusion when it comes to truck accidents. In fact, across the nation, 46 percent of all multiple-vehicle fatal collisions occurred when both a large truck and another vehicle involved were traveling in a straight direction. In another 12 percent of fatal accidents, either a truck or another vehicle was negotiating a turn. In nine percent of multiple-vehicle fatal collisions, the vehicle other than the truck was turning, and in seven percent of fatal crashes, at least one vehicle involved was stopped in a traffic lane.
The majority of truck accidents involved an initial impact to the front of the truck, followed by the rear, the left side, and then the right side. But trucks were still at a significant risk for being rear-ended. In fact, in 2012, large trucks were three times more likely to be rear-ended in fatal accidents than other vehicles including passenger cars. Experts believe that the elevated nature of trucks continue to lead to an increase in fatal accidents even though trucks are now outfitted with crossbars that prevent or eliminate a car’s ability to become entrapped beneath the rear of a tractor trailer.
Legal Relief for Chicago Truck Accident Victims
The statistics surrounding semi-truck accidents in Illinois and across the United States reinforce the belief that, though trucks are a necessary means of transportation, the risk they pose to other motorists is real, and too often, deadly.
The victims of truck collisions in and around Chicago may be entitled to legal relief for their damages. A personal injury claim brought with the help of a lawyer may enable a victim to recovery fair and adequate compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial damages that result from a collision, including the medical bills incurred, wages missed from work, and things like pain and suffering.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we have a track record of helping the victims of truck accidents seek and obtain relief for their accidents and we are ready to help you do the same. We have a lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to take your call toll free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO (529-2442) or locally at (312) 924-7575. We will provide you with a free case consultation without any obligation on your part and all information discussed will be kept confidential.
If a truck accident has left you injured, make sure you know your legal rights. Call Abels & Annes, P.C. today for a free case consultation.
If you have been hurt in a truck accident, call Abels & Annes, P.C. now at (855) LAW-CHICAGO or Contact Us online for a free consultation.