July 11, 2014

Truck Driver Sets Record For 4 Million Miles of No Accidents

by Levin & Perconti

It is all too often that we must report to our readers unfortunate news, startling statistics, and researched dangers of motor vehicle and truck accidents. However, when there is good news, we are happy to bring these reports and studies to our readers as well.

According to recent reports by KSAT 12, an HEB truck driver has set a record for logging 4 million miles of travel without a truck accident. The truck driver, Andres Corona, drives a big rig and successfully racked up 4 millions accident-free miles. The Department of Public Safety was present for the 4 million milestone and escorted the driver and 18-wheeler. This record was the first time in the state of Texas, where the driver hails from, that a truck driver reached this record. The driver spoke on the need for skill and defensive driving, while recalling several close calls, to reach this milestone without even a minor scrape along the way. The driver also said that he believes reaching this record is much more difficult in our modern day and recent years due to negligent and distracted drivers who talk on the phone while driving and due to increased speed limits on highways.

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July 10, 2014

Truck Kills Cyclist on Chicago Northwest Side

by Levin & Perconti

As you know, the summer is a statistically high time for truck and motor vehicle accidents. With the weather being nice and many people on vacations heading to local events in the city, there is a higher number of both pedestrians and vehicles out on the streets. Chicago has also become an especially popular place to bike, both for leisure and commuting, with the additions of bike lane and Divvy rental bicycles. However, when combining increased numbers of bikers with increased numbers of drivers, who many are unfortunately negligent, accidents occur.

According to recent news by DNA Info Chicago, a truck collided with a cyclist on Chicago’s northwest side, killing the cyclist. In the neighborhood of Portage Park, a 28-year-old woman was killed in a crash with a truck. She was an avid cyclist who took her bike everywhere, and had been riding for four years. While she was riding north on Cicero Avenue, a cement truck turned right onto Belmond Avenue hitting her. She was rushed to the local hospital but died later in the day from multiple injuries. According to the Chicago Police, it is still unclear whether the truck driver did not see the cyclist or whether she had been coming up quickly while he made a turn. The accident is still under investigation, as detectives are talking to witnesses and looking over surveillance footage.

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July 4, 2014

The Dangers of Street Racing: Bridgeview Truck Crash Kills Four, Gurnee Crash Kills Minor

by Levin & Perconti

Every week our lawyers report on the dangers of negligent driving and the numerous truck and motor vehicle accidents that take place in Chicago and throughout Illinois. What is most unfortunate is that a majority of these accidents would never have occurred if drivers took the caution and safety measures needed when getting behind the wheel. With vigilance and avoiding reckless behavior, personal injuries would be avoided and lives would be spared.

Unfortunately, an avoidable accident occurred in Bridgeview, which took the lives of four people, according to reports by the Palos Patch and NBC Chicago. The two-vehicle accident disrupted Independence Day celebrations on Friday afternoon when a passenger vehicle and a truck crashed head on in the 8200 block of Harlem Avenue. The four victims were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, and one other person suffered personal injuries. According to a witness, the passenger vehicle was traveling at a speed of approximately 100 miles per hour and was weaving in and out of traffic, and then lost control and hit the truck head on. Some witnesses thought that it appeared that the car was racing. The damage to the vehicles was so severe that both were beyond recognition to the investigators.

Street racing was the cause of another accident in Gurnee, according to the Daily Herald. A 16-year-old girl from Antioch died when the driver of the car in which she was riding was racing and lost control, causing the car to crash into another vehicle on Route 120 in Gurnee. The young woman was in the back seat and was thrown through the window when the car flipped. She was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, and three other teens were also injured.

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July 3, 2014

FedEx Truck Kills Woman on Chicago Kennedy Expressway

by Levin & Perconti

Every week we read of truck accidents in the Chicago news. From reports, it seems that there is no one neighborhood that is safe from these dangerous accidents. They seem to occur everywhere, no matter whether it is the city’s north, west, or south sides. As you also know, summer is an incredibly busy and high traffic season, and causes an increase in truck and motor vehicle accidents. This is especially true in our city, which already experiences a high volume of traffic and congestion on our roads and expressways, but especially during the summer holiday. Unfortunately, it is not just the every day passenger vehicles used by members of communities that cause injury to others, but commercial drivers who are tasked with a responsibility of being safe drivers and representatives of the businesses they serve.

According to recent news by CBS, a woman was killed by a FedEx semi-truck on the Chicago Kennedy Expressway. An Illinois State Police Sergeant reported that the woman ran out onto the expressway at Addison Street and was then struck by the truck. It is unclear why she did this, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

While this specific accident was unavoidable and not the fault of the commercial driver, this incident serves as an example of how important it is for both drivers and pedestrians to be vigilant of each other and follow common safety practice, such as yielding or using appropriate marked crosswalks. If drivers and pedestrians alike follow the rules of the road, more motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents could be prevented.

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June 20, 2014

Construction Worker Suffers Injuries From Being Pinned Inside Truck

by Levin & Perconti

We often joke that Chicago really only has two seasons- winter and construction season. Now that the weather has warmed, construction crews are hard at work throughout our city and its surrounding suburbs always improving the infrastructure, creating new roadways, and repairing any damage that may have occurred to our streets over the past year and harsh winter months. These construction crews work hard to better our lives while putting their own lives at risk and in the face of danger while working along busy and congested Illinois highways and interstates. Even when the roads and traffic are not a danger, these workers are consistently dealing large equipment and machinery that requires a great deal of skill. However, despite the best skills a crew member may have, he or she may be in a dangerous or deadly situation when the machinery they are provided is defective or not fully operational or the worksite is unsafe.

According to recent news by NBC Chicago, a driver of a construction truck was trapped and pinned inside for hours at a site in Elmhurst. According to police, the dump truck tipped over at the construction site located at the 400 block of South Spring Road with the driver inside. Rescue crews rushed to the scene to excavate the man from the truck’s cab. He was then taken to a nearby hospital.

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June 16, 2014

Federal Legislation Proposed to Eliminate Funding for Truck Accidents

by Levin & Perconti

Our attorneys have emphasized many times not only how dangerous truck accidents are, but also the high costs of these accidents that burden innocent injured victims and families. After a collision, many times victims are drowning with costs of initial medical bills for hospitalization, vehicle repair, prolonged medical treatment and physical therapy for healing, and lost wages for inability to work. Now, proposed federal legislation may make the costs and recovery of a truck accident even harder to bear for innocent victims by placing the high costs on their shoulders.

According to news from the American Association of Justice through their Take Justice Back campaign, U.S. Senators have proposed legislation that would eliminate accountability for trucks and buses when victims are injured or killed. Currently there is law on the books from the 1980’s that only requires truck companies to hold minimum insurance policies for $750,000 to cover an entire crash. This is the same cost no matter how many people are injured or killed in the crash. When there is a higher cost than what the company can cover, the motorists and taxpayers have to pay the rest. Even though policies may be for $750,000, what many do not realize is that fatal trucking accidents often cost over $4.3 million.

Furthermore, nearly 4,000 people die every year in truck crashes. Yet, next week the U.S. Senate vote on a transportation spending bill that may include an amendment that will delete the necessary resources that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration needs to increase insurance minimums to cover the costs of crashes.

Illinoisans could particularly suffer from such legislation. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, as of today, there have been 335 fatal crashes in our state in 2014. Of these crashes, 361 people have died. From this data, it is clear that fatal accidents are frequently occurring on our state’s roads, streets and highways And therefore, it is important that lawmakers protect the victims of negligence.

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June 13, 2014

Waterloo Man Killed in Fiery Semi Crash

by Levin & Perconti

While our readers already know much about the dangers of truck crashes and the threats they pose due to their size and weight, truck accidents can be even more dangerous when the vehicles involved catch fire. While collisions along can lead to a variety of injuries ranging from broken bones, loss of limbs, and nerve damage, fire victims can suffer life-altering burn injuries that can take a very significant amount of time to heal, and often leave permanent disabilities and disfigurement to the body of the crash victim. In some cases they can also be fatal.

Such was the case according to a report by the WCF Courier, detailing the tragic death of a Waterloo man in a semi-truck crash on U.S. Highway 20. The truck driver was carrying tractor tires and traveling west when his vehicle left the road and struck a tree. Although it was a single-vehicle accident, the crash was of such significance that witnesses reported being able to hear it in their homes and feeling their homes shake from the nearby collision. Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the crash. One witness reported having seen the semi drift to the right side of the road, hit a mail box, overcorrect to the left, and then hit a tree, which it pushed for about 40 feet before coming to a stop.

Fires from motor vehicle accidents are a major concern, both in Illinois and across the country. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, a report on highway vehicle fires provided an insight into these accidents. According to the report, about one in seven fires responded to by fire departments is a highway vehicle fire. The leading cause of highway vehicle fires was unintentional action, which accounted for 32% of vehicle fires. The majority of highway vehicle fires occur in passenger vehicles, which is 86%.

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June 12, 2014

Trucker Dies in Tractor Trailer Accident on Heavily Trafficked Bridge

by Levin & Perconti

Walking around downtown Chicago, you notice how the Chicago River twists and stretches through a vast majority of the business district. You would also observe the hustle and bustle of this busy city, with many CTA buses, taxi cabs, and commuters both on foot and in car. Despite a body of water traveling through the city, those hard at work must also travel too, and that is why Chicago traffic can travel on bridges across the river at various points through the city. However, even though these are bridges, they are still streets used by motor vehicles, which means accidents can and do occur on them.

All drivers must still use the vigilance they owe as their legal duty when driving on bridges. It can be argued that extra caution may be required of drivers to avoid negligence. Normally, in those last minutes before a collision of a motor vehicle accident occurs, drivers often swerve away from the object in which they are likely to collide. This can be to the shoulder of the road, to the next lane of traffic, etc. However, when you are on a bridge, there are limited areas in which a driver may swerve to avoid collision. If a driver swerves the wrong way or even hits another car, one or both drivers could end up in water if not stopped by the barriers. For these reasons, drivers should be extremely cautious when driving on bridges as to not cause an accident by ensuring that they are not excessively speeding and are allowing enough space between themselves and other vehicles so that they may come to a quick stop if needed.

Chicago is not alone as a major city with frequent bridge-related motor vehicle accidents either. In recent news by the New York Post, a deadly truck crash occurred on the George Washington Bridge. One truck driver was transporting appliances on the upper level of the bridge and rear-ended another truck that was carrying 40,000 pounds of frozen chicken. The chicken-truck driver then rear-ended a tanker. The appliance-truck driver was then pinned inside the truck and died in the crash.

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May 30, 2014

Federal Law Aims to Reduce Truck Speeds on Highways

by Levin & Perconti

In the recent news of past months, we have reported on numerous fatal truck accidents. Many of these have occurred as a result of negligence in the forms of distracted driving, fatigue, excessive speeding, or a combination of these factors. Now, federal lawmakers may be taking a step to physically prevent truck drivers from speeding.

According to an article by the Claims Journal, the Department of Transportation is attempting to mandate that truck drivers have speed limiters installed in their the vehicles. The propose mandate would require that certain trucks on U.S. interstates have speed limiters known as Electronic Control Modules (or ECMs). This rule would apply to trucks that are over 26,000 pounds and traveling on roads with a speed limit of at least 55 mph. The Department of Transportation hopes for this to go into effect in October.

Proponents of this law claim that the speed limiters would eliminate 1,115 fatal crashes. The American Trucking Association is behind the law, asking for limiters on all new trucks. Road Safe America has also proposed a retrofitting these devices for all trucks made since 1990.

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May 29, 2014

Why are Trucks and SUVs more likely to Roll Over?

by Levin & Perconti

Frequently, we discuss the nature and dangers of rollover motor vehicle accidents. Oftentimes these accidents involve SUVs and trucks so our attorneys thought we should remind readers of the dangers associated with rollover crashes, what makes them occur, and why trucks and SUVs are more likely to roll over than other vehicles.

According to WGNTV, a recent SUV rollover crash outside of Chicago killed four people and left one in critical condition. According to Lasalle County Sheriff’s Department, the driver lost control of the SUV, hit a mailbox, and sped across the road. She then slide sideways in the SUV down an embankment while at a high speed, and became airborne. The SUV ultimately landed in trees nearby. All of the passengers were thrown from the vehicle. Friends of the victims say that alcohol may have been a major factor in this crash.

In another recent instance of a rollover crash, a man was killed after his vehicle rolled over, according to an article by MLive. According to police, the man drifted off the road and hit a rock. His vehicle then flipped over several times. Authorities are investigating as to whether alcohol was a factor involved.

In both of these examples, the vehicles involved went off the roads and flipped over several times. What causes vehicles to flip and roll over during motor vehicle accidents is a more common trait in SUVs and trucks than other vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, vehicle type plays a major factor into the likelihood of a rollover crash. Tall and narrow vehicles like SUVs and trucks have high centers of gravity and are more susceptible to roll over. Usually a rollover occurs when a driver loses control of the vehicle and it slides sideways, according to the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety. Rollovers can occur when a driver tries to turn a vehicle too sharply or aggressively, such at a high velocity with a tight turning radius. In a scientific explanation, the frictional force between the tires and road surface can cause the vehicle to tip and then roll.

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May 20, 2014

Recent Accident Reminds Cyclists of Dangers on Our Roads

by Levin & Perconti

It is important that everyone on the road obeys traffic laws to avoid injuries to others. This applies to both motorists and bicycles alike. However, bicycle accidents are unfortunately all too common, both due to motorist and cyclist negligence. In 2011 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported on its website that 677 cyclist deaths nationwide. As Chicago is a city popular for cycling for leisure and commuting, and is continuing to grow in popularity still, our attorneys believe this statistic is way too high and promote roadway safety to ensure that our Chicago cyclists are free from harm.

According to news by KWTX an eight-year-old boy was transported to a local hospital in critical condition after being hit by a truck while riding his bicycle. Sadly, after two days in the hospital in critical condition, he passed away. According to witnesses, the boy was riding his bicycle on the side of the road and did not stop at the stop sign of the intersection. He then rode into traffic and into the path of a pickup truck. The driver was unable to stop in time or avoid hitting the child. Authorities say the boy was not wearing a helmet at the time.

While it is unclear from the article whether the pickup truck driver engaged in any negligent driving like excessive speeding or distracted driving. This example should also serve as a reminder to parents of the importance of teaching bike safety rules to their children and acting as role models for bike safety themselves. Not only should children be monitored at all times while at play, but caregivers should provide children with all protective measures possible, such as helmets and reflectors for bicycle use.

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May 19, 2014

Truck Accident Leaves Driver With 3rd Degree Burns

by Levin & Perconti

Oftentimes when people envision the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident, they picture a victim suffering concussions or broken bones due to the impact of the collision. However, these collisions can often involve a lot of heat and friction, and there may even be fires due to vehicles running off of flammable fuels. For these reasons, many victims of accidents often suffer minor to severe burns as well. As we have talked about before, truck accidents pose an even greater risk for personal injuries, including burns, due to the large size in weight and height of trucks.

According to an article by WCTV a recent truck accident left one motorist victim with both 2nd and 3rd degree burns. At the time of the accident, a dump truck was carrying 21 tons of hot asphalt. A car pulled out in front of the truck making a left turn. The truck crashed into the car, and then flipped over off the side of the road and crashed. Occurring in front of a local store, an employee witness described the scene of the dump truck hitting trees and catching fire, following by the driver jumping out of the vehicle covered in burns and screaming.

We have previously discussed the dangers of rollover accidents, and this case is a prime example of the dangers these accidents create. Here, not only did the victim suffer from the collision of his truck rolling over, but due to the hazardous cargo he was carrying, suffered severe burns all over his body. While all types of vehicles can roll over, tall and narrow vehicles like trucks and SUVs have higher centers of gravity and are more susceptible to rolling over, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website Furthermore, speed is a major factor in rollover crashes. Seeing as this accident occurred on a highway where drivers typically driver at higher speeds than city roads, it is understandable why a rollover occurred. According to the same source, nearly three-quarters of all fatal rollovers take place where the posted speed limit was 55 mph or higher.

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