The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has recently released a large number of truck accident statistics in which our Chicago truck accident lawyers were interested to read. While many people are aware that truck accidents continue to happen in Illinois and throughout the United States, the actual numbers can be very alarming.
Around 500,000 truck accidents occur every year in the United States. Of these, approximately 5,000 truck accidents result in fatalities each year, 98% of these fatalities occurring not to the truck driver, but to the individuals in passenger vehicles involved. Last year, about 2,500 serious truck accidents took place in Illinois, 148 of them fatal to over 154 people, with the remaining accidents resulting in over 3,600 injures to those involved. These accidents appeared to be more common in rural areas as opposed to cities, and during the afternoon and evening hours of the day. In addition, weekends accounted for about 75% of the total fatal truck accidents.
The report by IDOT continues to state that trucking revenues totaled $610 billion last year and are estimated to nearly double by 2015. Though this growth is good news for trucking companies, the motorists and pedestrians that share the road with these 10,000-pound trucks are generally the ones who suffer the most.
As our Illinois truck accident lawyers understand it, many truck accidents are due to driver negligence on roadways. Texting and driving remains a significant cause of truck accidents; however, accidents occurring while the driver is under the influence of alcohol are currently at an even higher level in many states. In fact, driving under the influence is regarded as one of the leading causes of fatal truck accidents today. While many accidents occur due to the negligence of truck drivers on roadways, others simply occur because of the difficulty and potential dangers that go along with driving a large truck or commercial vehicle. Efforts must be taken to reduce the number of these accidents not only in Illinois, but throughout the United States.
From the perspective of a Chicago truck accident attorney, it is essential that all motorists exercise great caution when driving near or around semi trucks. Passenger vehicles should always be cautious around trucks that are turning or merging because of the numerous blind spots that truck drivers have. They should observe trucks’ signals, pass trucks quickly and appropriately if needed, and drive defensively at all times. Even at low speeds, the energy and force associated with a truck in an accident involving a passenger vehicle can be fatal. It is also important that all truck drivers are well rested when driving, maintain their vehicle properly, and do not drive over the speed limit. They should distance themselves from other vehicles as best as they can, in addition to driving attentively, especially at night. In all, with combined efforts, taking these steps will help to greatly reduce the number and severity of trucking accident on Illinois roadways.
When motorists do suffer serious injuries as the result of a careless or negligent semi truck driver, they have the right to take action. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti understand that accidents involving semi trucks or other large commercial vehicles can result in personal injury and life altering consequences.
If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in an Illinois trucking accident due to a negligent driver, please contact our team of Illinois accident attorneys to learn about what rights and compensation may be available to you.