CBS Local recently reported that a Chicago driver was killed in a semi-trailer accident on Interstate 94. The woman was heading west when she failed to stop for slowing traffic due to emergency vehicles responding to an earlier four-vehicle crash. The woman’s passenger vehicle collided with a semi-trailer in front of her and then proceeded off of the shoulder of the highway.
The report continues to state that this accident was the third fatal crash on the interstate last month and that each involved drivers hitting the back of slowing or stopped vehicles. In two of these accidents, the initial crash caused a chain reaction collision in which even more surrounding vehicles were hit.
Police say the recent crashes have not involved excessive speed or large traffic violations. Rather, it is simply a matter of failing to drive attentively and to notice construction or slowing vehicles. A local sheriff told reporters, “When you are in the car, your number one priority has to be operating the car. People look away from the road for only a second and the circumstances can rapidly change, especially at a speed of 70 miles per hour. Sometimes, people are more concerned about getting to their destination than getting there safely.”
Our truck accident lawyers know that driving attentively is even more critical for semi truck drivers, whose vehicles are so much larger and heavier than others on the road. Truck accidents lead to more fatalities than car accidents each year, according to the American Trucking Association, and they account for a significant portion of all traffic fatalities in the United States. In most cases, the majority of those killed were inside the other vehicle involved in the crash, as seen in the above report. In addition to causing traffic fatalities, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that truck accidents also lead to almost 90,000 people sustaining injuries in 2008.
No matter what vehicle you drive, it is important to always remain aware of your surroundings when you are behind the wheel. Keep an eye out for slows in traffic, construction, changes in speed limits, and other vehicles or pedestrians nearby so that you can react to them appropriately. If you need to use your cell phone, eat, tend to children, or do something that requires taking attention off of the road, pull over to a safe location. Never drink and drive, and in general, follow the rules of the road. Driving attentively can be the difference between preventing an accident or not, which in turn can prevent injury to you or other motorists nearby.
Despite many drivers taking the necessary steps to drive safely, accidents unfortunately continue to happen as a result of negligent motorists. We understand that the consequences of a trucking accident can be life altering and represent those who have suffered due to a trucking accident caused by a negligent motorist.