An Illinois truck accident lawyer at our firm recently read a report detailing a late-morning crash that left multiple lanes closed on Interstate 88. According to Dailyherald.com, the accident occurred last Thursday at approximately 12pm between Naperville Road and Yackley Road when the 48-year old driver of a tractor-trailer decided to change lanes. As he attempted to maneuver into the lane on his right, he struck a passenger vehicle. The result of this collision caused both the tractor-trailer and the passenger vehicle to turn out of control, eventually striking a flat bed tow truck nearby.
Illinois State Police reported that all three vehicles traveled off the right side of the road and into a ditch. Two of the drivers were transported to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital for treatment of injuries; it is not specified which vehicles these individuals were driving. The accident caused two lanes of eastbound I-88 to remain closed for more than four hours. All lanes were finally reopened just after 4pm. Investigators are continuing to work to determine what exactly triggered the accident.
From the perspective of our attorneys, a very large number of trucking accidents and collisions occur when truck drivers attempt to change lanes on highways and interstates. For semi trucks, tractor-trailers, and other large commercial vehicles, changing lanes can be extremely difficult because these vehicles have very large blind spots. Therefore, truck drivers tend to have difficulty seeing additional vehicles on the road around them. When driving near a semi truck, you will most likely know that the semi is near you, but the semi’s driver, however, may not be aware you are near. As displayed in the above report, accidents resulting from lane changes often involve more than two vehicles because the vehicles involved may spin out of control and into the path of others. This places many drivers on the road at a serious risk of injury, even if they are not involved in the initial collision.
To minimize blind spots and decrease the risk of these accidents from occurring, all truck drivers should stay in the right lane as often as possible and avoid making unnecessary lane changes. If a lane change is necessary, signaling should be completed well in advance to inform surrounding motorists that the change is taking place. Other tips to increase visibility include keeping mirrors clean and properly adjusted or installing extension-mounted mirrors.
If you are a motorist driving near a truck, remember that trucks take longer to change lanes than any other vehicle. If you must travel next to a truck, travel in the faster lanes of the highway where trucks are not as likely to enter. Furthermore, always try to refrain from traveling next to a truck in the right hand lane; the likelihood of an accident occurring is greater in the right hand lane than if you traveled in the left hand lane, primarily because it is easier for the truck driver to see you on the left. And finally, always remember that as a rule of thumb, if you cannot see a truck driver’s mirrors, then he or she probably cannot see you.
Though most truck drivers are careful while behind the wheel, not all drivers follow the above recommendations, resulting in other motorists or pedestrians being serious injured or killed when a semi truck makes a sudden lane change. A lane change happens within a matter of seconds, but the consequences of a negligent lane change can be long lasting and severe.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured as the result of a negligent truck driver, please contact us to learn about what compensation may be available to you.