It is no doubt that truck accidents are incredibly dangerous and often lead victims to suffer serious injuries. However, that danger can amplify when a truck collides with another large vehicle such as a train or bus. In such an accident, the devastation may be greater due to the size of the vehicles and the number of people affected. That is why it is important operators practice safe driving and maintain vigilance to the road as to avoid reckless and negligent driving. Negligent driving can cause injury or death to negligent drivers as well as innocent bystanders. When drivers practice safe and lawful driving habits they protect themselves and others from serious harm.
ABC Local News 8 recently reported on a serious truck and a train collision that was a result of such negligence. The accident resulted in injuries to the truck driver who required hospitalization from her injuries. The semi-truck with a trailer attached was driving westbound on US Highway 20 when it stopped on railroad tracks and was struck by a southbound traveling train. According to the report, the train tracks and highway run parallel to each other so it is unknown why the truck stopped on the tracks. This accident is still under investigation by the police.
Illinois is a transportation hub, with many commuters, tourists, and commercial vehicles filling our roadways each day. Train travel is especially heavy compared to other states due to our state’s central location. it is easily likely that such an accident could occur in rural or metropolitan areas of Illinois given the number of trains that travel our railways each and every day. For that reason it is important for Illinois drivers and operators of large commercial vehicles to understand how to understand how to safely operate their vehicles on or near Illinois railroad tracks. Whether a pedestrian or a driver, it is important to practice safety around railroad tracks. According to Operation Lifesaver, it is important to stay alert around tracks because trains can come from any direction at any time. When around tracks, be vigilant because trains can be very quiet and hard to hear approaching. It can be wise to turn off radios and end phone calls when around train tracks so that you can give your full attention to the situation surrounding the tracks. Also, always let a train go first, and never try to race a train over the crossing. Trains are extremely fast and cannot stop quickly, so it is better to always wait for the train; your life means more than a few saved minutes. In fact, it takes a freight train going 55 mph over a mile to come to a stop. Unfortunately, not all crossings are marked, so it is best when drivers choose to cross at designated crossings that have gates and lights. When you must cross over tracks, look both ways and cross the tracks quickly without stopping.
Unfortunately even when drivers follow these laws, vehicle accidents with trains in Illinois are unfortunately all too common. Just this year, there have been, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. What is unnerving is that there are still 2 ½ months left in the year, which are months that often have severe winter weather combined with congested roads with holiday travel. This already high number is bound to only grow higher when combining these factors with negligent driving behaviors. Train collisions are also unfortunately all too common. For example, in the year 2012 in Illinois alone there were 89 collisions and 25 lost lives, according to the Illinois Commerce Commission.
Our law firm represents clients who have suffered serious personal injuries or loss of a loved one in accidents involving train operator or driver negligence. We also represent those who have been injured in accidents from defective products or improper vehicle design. Our attorneys understand that the injuries suffered from train and vehicle accidents can be extremely serious, especially due to the size of the vehicle. These injuries can require lengthy recovery and may even result in lifelong disability. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact our law firm for a free consultation, and we would be happy to discuss your situation and legal options with you.