Interstate 80 was shut down near Atkinson last Thursday when a semi-truck tanker crashed and rolled over onto the side of the road. Whbf.com released details about the accident, stating that it occurred around 6am on the westbound lanes of the interstate at mile marker 29. Witnesses report the truck driver was traveling westbound in the left lane when he crossed into the right lane, continued through the right shoulder, and rolled the vehicle into a ditch just seconds later.
After emergency crews responded to the scene, the truck driver was transported to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police say the tanker leaked fluid as a result of the crash. Hazardous Material teams arrived to clean up the small chemical spill, later stating there was no immediate health risk due to the spill. Traffic was diverted around the accident in both directions onto US 6, which caused major delays throughout the morning. The report states the truck driver has been charged with improper lane usage.
Our Illinois truck accident lawyers know that according to the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rollover accidents are the deadliest of all motor-vehicle types of accidents. Rollovers reportedly occur in only about 13% of heavy-truck fatal crash involvements, but they account for 50% of truck-occupant fatalities. Tanker trucks are most susceptible to rollovers because the weight distribution of bulk loads can shift suddenly during sharp turns or movements, causing a vehicle imbalance.
Additionally, in a study undertaken by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, almost half of truck rollovers were proven to have resulted from failing to adjust speed to curves in the road, poor brake conditions, and unsafe road surfaces. Other major crash contributors involved simply being inattentive, falling asleep, and distraction, all leading to situations where a sudden direction change resulted in a rollover. Finally, a large crash contributor involved over-steering to the point of rolling over.
The NHTSA states that adding advanced electronic stability control systems to larger vehicles could prevent up to 56% of rollover crashes each year and eliminate an estimated 4,400 injuries and up to 160 fatalities. The system uses various sensors to monitor vehicle movement and steering inputs, and then automatically applies the brakes individually to the wheels and controls vehicle under steer and over steer. This would ultimately prevent rollovers and other out-of-control problems. The department claims that the technology is a “major step forward to improving the safety of large commercial trucks, motor coaches, and other large buses,” as stated by the department secretary.
It is important for all truck drivers to drive safely behind the wheel on Illinois roadways. This includes driving attentively, following the rules of the road, and maintaining your vehicle properly at all times. Despite many drivers taking the necessary steps to drive safely, accidents such as rollover accidents unfortunately continue to occur.
If you have been involved in a rollover accident or have been in an accident due to a negligent motorist, please contact our law firm to learn about what compensation may be available to you.