Our Illinois semi truck accident attorneys recently read a report on WinonaDailyNews.com detailing a fatal semi truck collision that resulted in the death of one driver. A sports utilities vehicle was traveling eastbound on an interstate highway when the driver had reduced speed in order to make a left hand turn. The driver of a semi truck traveling behind the SUV failed to notice the vehicle’s reduced speed and subsequently rear-ended the SUV. The collision caused the SUV to launch into the westbound lane – resulting in an addition collision with an oncoming pickup truck. The accident caused the pickup truck to travel off the road, overturning several times before igniting in flames. The driver was pronounced dead after transportation to a local hospital. The drivers of the SUV and the semi truck remained unharmed. Although this accident is still under investigation, authorities state that alcohol did not appear to play a factor in the collision.
Multi-vehicle accidents involving semi trucks reoccur almost weekly and the results are almost always resulting in injury or even death. According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System complied by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, large trucks are substantially more likely to be involved in fatal multi-vehicle crashes than passenger vehicles. In 2009, over 2,600 large commercial vehicles were involved in multi-vehicle collisions. Given the sheer size and weight of large commercial vehicles, any collisions in which these types of vehicle are involved have fatal results. It is no surprise that when typical commercial vehicles weighs around 80,000 pounds and an average motor vehicle weighs 5,000 pounds that in 2009 over 3,200 large trucks were involved in fatal collisions.
Semi truck drivers are legally required to adhere to a minimum standard of care when operating their vehicles. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, one standard of care objective for commercial vehicle drivers is to prevent accidents by trying to anticipate hazardous situations and adjusting driver behavior to compensate. When this standard is violated by an accident caused by driving errors such as cell phone use or driver fatigue, the truck driver and their company may be held liable for negligence if an injury or death results. If you or a loved one has been involved in an Illinois semi truck accident, please contact our experienced Chicago accident attorneys. Our attorneys will provide a free initial consultation to help determine what legal rights may be available to you.