Walking around downtown Chicago, you notice how the Chicago River twists and stretches through a vast majority of the business district. You would also observe the hustle and bustle of this busy city, with many CTA buses, taxi cabs, and commuters both on foot and in car. Despite a body of water traveling through the city, those hard at work must also travel too, and that is why Chicago traffic can travel on bridges across the river at various points through the city. However, even though these are bridges, they are still streets used by motor vehicles, which means accidents can and do occur on them.
All drivers must still use the vigilance they owe as their legal duty when driving on bridges. It can be argued that extra caution may be required of drivers to avoid negligence. Normally, in those last minutes before a collision of a motor vehicle accident occurs, drivers often swerve away from the object in which they are likely to collide. This can be to the shoulder of the road, to the next lane of traffic, etc. However, when you are on a bridge, there are limited areas in which a driver may swerve to avoid collision. If a driver swerves the wrong way or even hits another car, one or both drivers could end up in water if not stopped by the barriers. For these reasons, drivers should be extremely cautious when driving on bridges as to not cause an accident by ensuring that they are not excessively speeding and are allowing enough space between themselves and other vehicles so that they may come to a quick stop if needed.
Chicago is not alone as a major city with frequent bridge-related motor vehicle accidents either. In recent news by the New York Post, a deadly truck crash occurred on the George Washington Bridge. One truck driver was transporting appliances on the upper level of the bridge and rear-ended another truck that was carrying 40,000 pounds of frozen chicken. The chicken-truck driver then rear-ended a tanker. The appliance-truck driver was then pinned inside the truck and died in the crash.
According to authorities investigating the crash, several factors may have been in play in this particular accident. At the time of this accident, one witness reported seeing a man stop his car, walk out it, and jump off the side of the bridge. The car was left abandoned. It is unknown whether this sight was any cause of alarm for the drivers and a cause for the collision. Additionally, investigators are looking into whether the appliance-truck driver may have fallen asleep behind the wheel or whether he was driving with a medical condition. As you know, both of these can be considered forms of negligence as the driver is not operating a truck under conditions but is suffering from factors that impair him from being a safe driver. Truck drivers need to take breaks and drive when well-rested so they have their best focus and vigilance to the road. Furthermore, if someone knows they have a medical condition that inhibits them from being a safe driver (ex: sudden onset of seizure), but chooses to get behind the wheel and drive despite this knowledge, they can be held liable for endangering others due to their condition that causes them to be an unsafe driver.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident due to another’s negligence and reckless driving, you may be able to hold them liable in a lawsuit. By seeking the help of a legal professional, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries, medical costs, lost wages, and suffering that would not have occurred but for this other driver’s negligence. Our attorneys have handled personal injury and motor vehicle accident lawsuits for over 20 years. Call us for a free consultation, and we would be happy to discuss your legal options with you.