There are over 9 million large trucks that are registered in the U.S., traveling over 226 billion miles per year on the nations interstates, highways and streets. These drivers are pushed to meet delivery deadlines and work long hours to get their loads where they need to go. Due to the pressure many of these truckers face, they often keep driving even when they are fatigued, ill or distracted, which puts them and others in danger of being involved in an accident.
Deadly Truck Crashes on Illinois Highways
Large trucks account for 4% of all registered vehicles but drive 14% of the total miles each year in the U.S. When these large trucks are involved in an accident the results can be deadly to those who are in the other vehicles or just happen to be walking in the vicinity. According to the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety:
- In 2010 there were 3,413 deaths in accidents that involved large trucks
- 85% of fatalities involving large trucks were occupants of the other vehicles or pedestrians; only 14% were drivers or passengers in the large trucks.
- 97% of fatalities in two-vehicle crashes involving large trucks were people in other vehicles.
It is apparent that the other drivers and passengers that are unfortunate enough to tangle with these big trucks are the ones with the most to lose. The sheer size and weight of these cargo trucks make them deadly in any crash situation.
Underlying Causes Behind Large Truck Accidents
In March of 2006, the U.S. DOT, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration combined efforts to determine the causes of commercial truck accidents. They took a national sample of almost 1,000 fatal truck crashes between 2001 and 2003 and examined the causes and elements of all crashes. What they found was that in many cases, the driver of the large truck was at fault and that they may have been driving under circumstances that put them and others at risk. Some of the top 20 factors that attributed to the crashes were
- 26% were using prescription drugs
- Over 22% were traveling too fast for conditions
- 17% attributed over-the-counter drug use as a factor
- More than 22% were either fatigued or were under work-related pressure
These factors point to drivers that are continuing to drive even when they are tired or ill to make their deadlines. They may be using medications that affect their ability to drive safely. Other causes listed in top 20 factors in the study were illegal maneuvers, following too closely, inattention and that the driver was pressured to drive even though fatigued.
When these large trucks are involved in an accident, it is much more complicated than when two passenger cars crash. The truck driver may be the one at fault, but it may be the company he works for or even a third party contractor that is financially liable. Those who are victims of a commercial truck accident should seek legal advice and representation to handle their interests in these cases.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC regularly represents clients injured in trucking collisions on the following Illinois highways:
Illinois attorneys handling open-road trucking accidents
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have represented many clients that have been injured or even lost loved ones due to a large truck accident. We are experienced and understand the complexities of Illinois semi-truck accidents and will do our best to get your family the financial compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages and even damages for pain and suffering. We offer an opportunity for you to discuss your case with us, free of charge and with no obligation. If we handle your case, no fee will be charged unless we obtain a financial award in your favor. Contact us at 888-424-5757 today!
Learn more about highway truck safety: