Blog posts tagged in truck accidents
According to the American Trucking Association, there were approximately 36 million large trucks registered and used for business purposes in 2017, with more than 1 million for-hire and private truck carriers operating in the United States. Trucking is a fairly large industry, but it can be dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there were more than 4,600 large trucks involved in fatal crashes and approximately 107,000 involved in injury crashes in 2017. When a truck gets into an accident, it makes sense to first blame the truck driver. In some cases, the trucking company for which the driver works can also be held responsible for a truck accident.
Hiring Unqualified Drivers
All drivers of large trucks have to meet certain requirements and have specific qualifications and endorsements to legally drive a big rig. Drivers must hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) with the proper endorsements to drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Drivers must also be certified that they are medically sound to drive a CMV. If a trucking company knows that a driver does not have a CDL or the appropriate endorsements, has medical issues, or does not have adequate training or experience, the company can be held liable for injuries or damages sustained in a truck accident.
Truck accidents often result in fatal injuries in DuPage County and throughout Illinois. As the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) explains, when big rigs are involved in collisions with smaller passenger vehicles, those passenger vehicle occupants often suffer life-threatening or fatal injuries since trucks weigh anywhere from twenty to thirty times as much as a smaller passenger vehicle and have a greater ground clearance.
Truck collisions often occur because of driver error—as a result of negligent driving, which often involves drowsy driving—and can also happen if a truck is not properly maintained or is improperly loaded.
According to a recent article in the Belleville News-Democrat, Illinois State Police have been focusing on semi-truck safety by making random stops to check the truck and its driver for any safety concerns.
Car crashes and truck accidents occur more often than they need to in DuPage County and on the highways running throughout the Chicago suburbs. And even when accidents cannot be prevented entirely, there are many ways that the severity of those collisions and the resulting injuries could be lessened.
However, according to a recent article in the Illinois News Network, there is not a lot of public support for making changes to the state’s safe driving laws. The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety recently released a 2018 report on safe driving laws, but Illinois residents largely do not want to see any of these changes implemented.
Recommendations for Safe Driving Laws in Illinois
We often hear about the risks of drowsy driving when it comes to truck accidents in DuPage County and throughout the country. More specifically, given that semi-truck drivers tend to be on the road for long stretches of time, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has specific hours of service regulations designed to ensure that a truck driver is not behind the wheel for more than a certain number of consecutive hours during any single drive. Those regulations require truckers to take rest breaks at certain points in order to prevent truck crashes.
Yet the hours of service regulations do not take into account the hours a truck driver might spend behind the wheel in his or her own vehicle in order to reach the workplace—the location where the truck driver actually picks up the 18-wheeler and begins driving for pay. Can this commute time contribute to drowsy driving accidents?
What is Excessive Commuting and How Can It Lead to Drowsy Driving Truck Collisions?
When you are on a major highway like I-290 or I-88, it can be an anxiety-inducing experience to drive around and between numerous semi-trucks while worrying about truck accidents. Given that these highways are part of key routes for many shippers, there are often 18-wheelers moving through DuPage County.
It is stressful to wonder whether you are safe to pass a large truck, or whether you are in its blind spot. Moreover, you may even panic when you see that a trucker is attempting to change lanes, and it does not seem as if there is sufficient space to do so.
Therefore, if you drive a smaller automobile, what do you need to know in order to stay safe driving near large trucks on the highway?