January 16, 2015

Winter Weather Conditions Cause Highway Truck Accidents in Champaign County

by Levin & Perconti

Illinois is known for its serious winters. This is not just limited to Chicago though. All throughout the state winter weather can affect communities making roads much more hazardous as the snow falls and temperatures drop. It is no surprise that winter weather makes driving conditions much more dangerous. That is why it is imperative to use caution when driving in such weather. When drivers are negligent to their duty to be safe drivers, they can cause a motor vehicle accident that results in personal injuries to themselves and others on the road.

According to one recent article by the News-Gazette, winter weather caused a number of truck accidents in central Illinois. According to the article, Illinois State Police were on the scenes of multiple crashes that resulted in personal injuries and lane blockages on Interstate 57 in Champaign and Douglas Counties and on Interstate 74 in Mahomet. Authorities also relayed that the highest concentration of slide offs and accidents were between Tuscola at milepost 212 and Champaign at milepost 237, and on I-74 near Mahomet. At milepost 217 southbound, there was a jack-knifed truck tractor-semi trailer and another crash on I-57 at milepost 220. Recent freezing rain covered the roads with ice, and made driving conditions both difficult and dangerous.

As with any major weather event, authorities warned motorists to use caution when traveling on the interstates. In snowy or icy conditions, it is important to avoid unnecessary lane changes, which often cause a loss of control of a vehicle and use caution when traveling near the scene of an accident so as to not cause additional accidents and to keep those involved in the accident as safe as possible. Vehicles need to move over and slow down for emergency vehicles at these scenes.

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January 15, 2015

123-Vehicle Pileup Occurs on Midwestern Interstate

by Levin & Perconti

We have frequently discussed how truck accidents are extremely dangerous. Trucks are very large vehicles that are immense in height, length, and weight. Due to these factors, a collision with one can cause serious damage, especially when traveling at high speeds on highways and interstates. However, combine these factors with winter weather conditions and a large number of vehicles, and the accident can be even more extreme.

While we unfortunately frequently hear of truck accidents, it is rare to hear of an accidents involving tens or even hundreds of vehicles.. However, in recent news by the Chicago Tribune, one recent Midwest accident involved a pile-up of 123 vehicles.
According to the article, 123 vehicles were involved in pileups along the snowy Interstate 94. As a result of the accident, one truck driver died. The accident ignited a fire and an explosion on a semi-truck that was carrying fireworks. Police have discussed that there was snow, wind, and poor visibility at the time of travel. Police then urged everyone within a 3-mile radius to evacuate the area due to the hazardous materials. People were not allowed to return until the hazardous materials, including acid, had burned off. In addition to a death of a truck driver, 23 people suffered personal injuries and required hospitalization. Other motorists who did not suffer serious injuries needed to be transported by bus to a warming center.

The article relayed accounts from several people on the scene. One driver, who was driving behind the truck with the fireworks, had to slam on his brakes, which resulted in him skidding. He stopped his pickup truck on the shoulder of the road and knew he needed to run away from the scene on foot. He said how he saw all of these trucks approaching and knew they wouldn’t stop. He left his truck and ran through the trees to get away from the danger. Another driver described how his Jeep became sandwiched in the front and rear. He then heard fireworks begin to explode and also ran away.

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January 9, 2015

Highway 141 Crash Takes the Life of an Illinois Woman

by Levin & Perconti

Curled up inside on the couch, sipping hot cocoa and watching the snow fall outside your window may be really relaxing, but the snow can invoke feelings far from relaxation when you’re dealing with it on the roads and highways. While snow may be pretty and picturesque when we are safe and inside, it is a completely different story when it is making your commute and travels hazardous. Frequently, snow is a cause of truck and motor vehicle accidents. By highlighting winter weather-related accidents in our blogs, we hope to bring awareness to our readers about the dangers winter weather conditions can pose on the roads.

A report by MyFox11 relayed that a woman died as the result of a truck crash on Highway 141 near Jossart Road. A pickup truck was hauling a snowmobile trailer northbound when the driver of the truck swerved to avoid a dark object in the roadway. The victim was then struck by the trailer. The driver died at the scene of the accident from head and internal injuries. Snow was also falling and covering the roadway at the time of the accident. The Marinette County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate this crash.

There are many steps we can take as drivers to protect ourselves and others when on snowy and icy roads. Weather Underground provides tips for both car maintenance and driving safety to ensure that you are most prepared for your snowy drive. It is important to make sure that your vehicle is safe to drive in winter weather. For example, you should be sure to check your anti-freeze and thermostat to avoid freezing. Make sure your windshield wiper blades are operable and that you have de-icing washing fluid. Also, check on your oil and power steering fluids. Be sure to properly lubricate door locks that may be prone to freezing. Remember to keep at least half of a tank of gas in your vehicle during the winter season too, because this prevents freezing.

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January 7, 2015

Truck Accident Caused by Icy Road Conditions

by Levin & Perconti

Winter weather has definitely arrived in Illinois. We may have not had a white Christmas, but now snow can be seen throughout much of the state, and the cold temperatures have come with it. However, with winter weather comes more hazards on the roadways. Snow and ice make the roads more dangerous by causing slippery and wet surfaces, so it is imperative that drivers take extra caution in these conditions. Otherwise, serious accidents can occur.

According to one article by the Journal Gazette & Times-Courier, icy road conditions recently caused a truck accident near the southern exit in Mattoon on Interstate 57. A pickup truck struck a guardrail and overturned. According to Illinois State Police, the driver lost control of his truck after hitting a patch of black ice on the bridge deck. The truck then crossed the center median, hit the guardrail, and overturned.

Black ice is a significant hazard present during the cold temperatures in winter. One of the biggest dangers of black ice, according to AccuWeather, is that it is not only slippery but hard to spot. Black ice gets its name from its ability to blend in; it tends to look like the rest of the pavement on the road because it is clear. Black ice forms when the air is at 32 degrees or below at the surface and rain is falling. The ground temperature causes the precipitation to freeze upon impact, creating ice. Additionally, sleet and the refreezing after melt of snow or water can also create black ice. The prime times for the development of black ice are around dawn and in late evening. This is when temperatures tend to be their lowest. Additionally, the most common locations for black ice to form are shaded or tree-covered parts of roads due to the lack of light, and on bridges and overpasses because of the ability for water to freeze quickly in these locations.

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December 30, 2014

UPS Driver Hits Pedestrian in Evanston Accident

by Levin & Perconti

With the holiday season just wrapping up, our postal and delivery workers have been especially busy. A significant amount of packages are delivered this time of year, and these workers may be working much longer hours than normal or working much more frequently. Since a major facet of the postal services, both government and private, is to make deliveries to residences, these workers are on the road in great frequency during the holiday season. However, even though this season may be more stressful for these employees and require more work, this does not mean that the drivers should be more lax in their driving. Just like all drivers on the road, it is the legal duty of these individuals to practice safe driving when they get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

According to a recent report by CBS, a United Parcel Service driver hit a pedestrian in Evanston. The pedestrian was walking across Ashland Avenue in the early evening and was struck by the UPS truck that had just turned onto the street. According to Evanston police, the pedestrian had to be extricated from beneath the truck. The individual was then transported to Evanston-NorthShore University Hospital with life-threatening injuries. The accident is still under investigation.

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December 26, 2014

Truck Driver Road Rage Incident Puts People in Fear For Their Lives

by Levin & Perconti

One unfortunate trend that is frequently in news reports and throughout the media is road rage. The way we react to others on the road impacts the safety of ourselves, our loved ones, and the others on the road to whom we owe a legal duty of care. As we’ve discussed before, as drivers, every time we get behind the wheel of a vehicle, we are responsible for our behavior. It is our legal duty to not be the cause of injury to others, and we need to act as safe drivers, not with negligence or recklessness.

According to a recent report by ABC 7 Chicago, one incident of road rage was so extreme that two people were placed in a situation where they feared for their lives. The incident was caught on cellphone video while two women were driving on Interstate 80, and a pickup truck driver cut them off. One of the women admits that she gave the driver “the finger” after being cut off. However, she didn’t expect that driver would then lose her cool to the extreme that was caught on camera. After receiving that gesture, the truck driver began to swerve across the highway and then slammed on her brakes in order to get the two women in the vehicle to stop. The truck driver then got out of her truck, approached the two women in the car, and claimed she was a police officer. They did not believe her and called 911 to confirm she was not an officer. They took off driving again, but the truck driver began to follow them, attempting to push them off the road by hitting their car. They called 911 and were instructed to take the next exit where an officer would be waiting. Police then tracked down the pickup truck driver and arrested her based on assault with a deadly weapon. She had just been released from jail a few hours earlier based on felony hit-and-run charges.

It seems that these two women took the right step in protecting themselves and preventing this driver from harming others. Not only did they capture it on video in a way to identify the driver, but they also immediately called the police. By doing so, the police could respond quickly and apprehend the dangerous driver.

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December 19, 2014

Morris Man Killed in I-55 Semi-Truck Accident

by Levin & Perconti

It seems that a truck accident involving injuries occurs almost every week in Illinois. Unfortunately, the most devastating accidents often take the life of the victims in the collision or result in very serious injury. This was the case earlier this week when aa young person died in an accident with a tractor trailer.

The Morris Daily Herald, reported that the 19-year-old man died when he swerved off of I-55 in the Channahon Township after his vehicle was cut off by a semitrailer, according to the Illinois State Police. He was driving in his pickup truck in the left lane when the semi switched lanes and cut him off. The victim then swerved to avoid hitting the semi and his vehicle rolled over several times in the median ditch and then came to a rest in the southbound lanes near the Route 6 interchange. In the process of the rollover, the victim was ejected from his vehicle. The driver of the semi continued on his way and did not stop during this incident. He has still not been identified. Unfortunately, the victim was also not wearing his seatbelt.

Although a semi-truck driver’s reckless actions and failure to be vigilant for others on the road resulted in the victim needed to make an emergency swerve to avoid collision, it is also important to discuss how seat belts can protect us during these emergency situations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are a leading cause of death for those aged 1 – 54 in the United States. More than 2.2 million drivers and passengers were treated in emergency rooms from motor vehicle accidents in 2012 alone. Seat belt use is the most effective way to prevent death and reduce injury in a crash, and actually reduces serious injuries and deaths by half, but millions of people do not wear their seat belts. Teens and young adults wear their seat belts much less often than others. Of the crash victims aged 13 – 20 in 2012, 55% of them were not wearing seat belts. Those ages 13 – 34 are less likely to wear seat belts than those 35 and older too. Furthermore, those in rural areas, such as Channahon, are less 10% less likely to wear seat belts than those in urban and suburban areas.

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December 17, 2014

Mahomet Woman Dies In Truck Accident

by Levin & Perconti

When a truck or motor vehicle accident occurs, serious consequences such as vehicle damage, injuries or death can follow. Because accidents are all too prevalent, we find it important to educate readers so our community can be more aware of dangers on the road.

In a recent article by The News-Gazette, a two-vehicle crash took the life of a woman from Mahomet. State police reported that a man was driving an International truck south on Illinois 47 and was approaching the drive to the Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve Trail. The woman, who was driving an SUV, pulled out of a parking area in front of a truck. According to police, the truck driver tried to avoid the SUV but could not. As a result, the two vehicles collided in the street, which pushed the deceased’s vehicle into a ditch and killed her. This crash is still under investigation by the Illinois State Police and the Champaign County Coroner’s Office.

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December 11, 2014

Alcohol Believed to Be a Cause of Fatal Truck Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Time and again we are reminded about the dangers of drinking and driving, but unfortunately alcohol remains a factor in many fatal accidents. There is no reason that anyone should ever get behind the wheel after drinking, and accidents as a result of drinking and driving are always preventable.

Fox News recently reported that a Kenosha County crash took the lives of two people and left one in critical condition. The crash occurred near Highway 83 and Highway 50 in the 34500 block of the westbound lanes of Highway 50. A pickup truck was traveling east in the westbound lanes of traffic and then struck a westbound car head-on. The driver of the car suffered serious injuries and was transported to the local hospital where he later passed away. The passenger of the car died at the scene. The driver of the truck remains in critical condition.

According to the Kenosha County Sheriff’s department, alcohol is believed to have been a factor. The department received several 911 calls that alerted them of this pickup truck driving the wrong way. Unfortunately, they were too late to prevent this crash. The pickup truck driver will be facing an Operating While Intoxicated charge and a traffic citation for driving the wrong way on a divided highway.

Driving while under the influence of alcohol comes with serious penalties under the law and needlessly endangers the lives of others on the road, but these accidents continue to happen much too frequently. In 2012 alone, 10,322 people were killed in crashes involving alcohol in the United States, according to the National Safety Council. To get an idea of how frequent this is, every day in the United States about 30 people die in motor vehicle accidents involving an impaired driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is one death every 51 minutes.

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December 8, 2014

Springfield Man Not Wearing a Seat Belt Dies in Truck Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Truck and motor vehicle accidents are all too common throughout Illinois. That is why we feel that it is important to raise awareness surrounding the potential causes of these accidents and discuss the consequences of negligence in order to protect ourselves and those with whom we share the road. While we may not be able to prevent the negligence of others or stop unexpected hazards from posing danger, we can take steps to give us our best chances of staying alive when an accident occurs.

In a recent article by My Journal Carrier, it was reported that a Springfield man died in a truck accident. According to the report, he was not wearing a seat belt when his truck struck an embankment on the Camden Blacktop in Schuyler County. He was thrown from the truck upon collision.

The National Safety Council discusses how seat belts can keep us and our loved ones safe. Wearing a seat belt is imperative because motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of unintentional injury and death across all age groups. In 2012, more than half of passengers who were killed in accidents were not wearing seat belts. However, it is known that seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45 %.

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December 5, 2014

Truck Driver Dies in Collision Between Semi and Train

by Levin & Perconti

As we have talked about in our blogs before, two of the most dangerous vehicles to be in a collision with are trucks and trains. Being vehicles that are extremely large in both height and weight, collisions with these vehicles often result in extremely serious personal injuries or deaths. That is why it is so important to talk about these types of accidents so that members of our community can be aware of the dangers and know what to look out for and how to protect themselves.

According to a recent article by My State Line, a Rockford truck driver died in a collision with a train in Winnebago County. The truck was crossing over the tracks, and the train was unable to stop. The train engineer sounded the horn, but it was too late to avoid a collision. According to the Winnebago County Police, the semi-truck traveled in the front of the train, but it is unclear why this occurred, so the accident is still under investigation. There are no gates at this particular crossing, but there are crossing lights. Investigators are researching whether there were any mechanical failures with the truck, a medical issue with the driver, or any mechanical issues with the crossing.

Pictures of the aftermath of this accident show how violent of a collision this was. The semi-truck trailer was bent and ripped open. Its cargo – corn – was spilled and strewn on the scene. The semi’s cab was demolished and lying on the other side of the tracks than the trailer. Debris was scattered everywhere.

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December 4, 2014

Illinois Truck Driver Dies in I-24 Fiery Crash

by Levin & Perconti

There is no question that truck accidents can be some of the most serious accidents regarding injury and magnitude of damage. Our attorneys have seen the effects of truck accidents span large stretches of highway, shut down roads for long periods of time requiring extensive cleanup and investigation, and cause life-threatening and life-changing personal injuries.

One recent accident, reported by KWQC, is evident of the gravity of truck accidents, leaving all westbound lanes of Interstate 24 closed from early morning until late evening. The truck driver was hauling wood pallets at the time of the accident. He lost control of the semi-truck, crossed over the median, and collided with a FedEx truck driven by an Illinois man. The wood pallets from the semi-truck hit the fuel tanks of the FedEx truck. As a result of the collision, a fire erupted, and both drivers were trapped in the crash. Both truck divers died as a result of the accident, and a third driver who hit the FedEx truck from behind suffered personal injuries.

Vehicle fires are incredibly dangerous and can lead to loss of life, as seen in this accident. According to a fact sheet by the National Fire Protection Association, vehicles can catch fire for several reasons. While mechanical and electrical issues are the most common causes of vehicle fires because heat and sparks can ignite leaking fuel, crashes can also cause fires due to the fact that vehicles run on combustible fuels. It is important for drivers and passengers to know the warning signs of a vehicle fire. If you see smoke or flames or smell any burning rubber or plastic, it is imperative that you respond immediately. If you are driving and sense there is a fire, pull over as quickly as you can to a safe location such as a breakdown lane or rest stop. Then turn off your engine, and get everyone out of your car, and move at least 100 feet away from the burning car and traffic while calling for emergency help.

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