Articles Posted in Hazardous Materials

Yesterday afternoon, our Chicago truck accident lawyers read a report on ABC4.com detailing a fiery semi truck accident that shut down an interstate highway for over eight hours. Reports state that two commercial vehicles were traveling westbound on an interstate highway when one of the semi tractor-trailers collided into the rear of another. The semi truck that was rear-ended was transporting a cargo of over 4,000 gallons of crude oil — which subsequently ignited upon collision.

The truck transporting the crude oil sustained severe damage as a result of the collision and ensuing fire. The semi truck that caused the initial collision sustained only partial damage. Fortunately, both drivers remained relatively unharmed. Police reports state that the driver of the commercial vehicle responsible for the collision ‘got distracted’ which ultimately lead his vehicle to travel into the neighboring lane. The truck driver has received a citation for reckless driving.

Any Chicago truck accident lawyer will tell you that when an 80,000 pound commercial vehicle is operated in careless or reckless manner, the safety of those traveling on our Illinois roadways is placed in serious peril. Often times, careless or negligent semi truck operation is commonly attributed to driver fatigue and distraction. Despite the heavy regulation that is placed on commercial vehicle drivers and their trucking carriers by our federal and state governments, certain regulations – such as the number of hours a semi truck driver is permitted to drive – is commonly overlooked or even blatantly disregarded. Failure to comply with regulations established by such agencies as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration frequently results in fatal semi truck accidents various factors such as driver fatigue.

NBCChicago.com posted a report detailing an Illinois semi truck accident that transpired late light night on Interstate 94 near Cottage Grove Avenue. The accident occurred at around 11:15 p.m. when a passenger vehicle traveling in the southbound lane changed lanes and suddenly decreased speed in front of a semi tractor-trailer to avoid a motor vehicle accident. The semi truck was unable to slow down in time to avoid collision and ultimately struck the passenger vehicle. After striking the passenger vehicle, the semi truck attempted to swerve and subsequently overturned.

Drivers of both vehicles were taken to a nearby hospital for injuries that were deemed non-life threatening. It took well over 5 hours to roadway crews to clean up the destructive accident. Fortunately, our Chicago truck accident attorneys read, that none of the semi truck’s cargo of hazardous material was expelled onto the roadway as a result of the accident. According to Illinois State Police, citations for this accident are still pending as of this morning.

When a semi truck collision occurs with a commercial vehicle containing a shipment of hazardous materials, the results are often times extremely life-threatening. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there are more than 800,000 shipments of hazardous materials in large commercial vehicles every day on our roadways. These hazardous materials mainly consist of flammable liquids, such as gasoline of other flammable gases. Of those 800,000 shipments, about 200 hazardous materials trucks are involved in fatal semi truck accidents, while 5,000 are involved in nonfatal accidents each year.

Earlier today, our Chicago semi truck accident attorneys read a report on 9news.com detailing a destructive semi truck accident that resulted in the collision of 11 vehicles. Authorities states that a semi truck was traveling along an interstate highway when the truck’s cargo of organic soil began leaking from the trailer. Although the soil is not considered a hazardous material, it did cause the roadways to become unmanageably slick – resulting in numerous collisions. Seven individuals involved in the collisions were transported to a local hospital for sustained injuries. Authorities have been unable to trace the semi truck that caused the leak and asserted that the trucking company and the driver may face charges for the spilled load.

An improperly secured commercial vehicle load can often prove disastrous for surrounding vehicles and our roadways. According to the Driver’s Handbook created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, cargo being transported on highways must remain secured on or within the transporting vehicle. Cargo must always remain secured so that it will not: leak, spill, expel off vehicle, and/or shift. An improperly secured load can consequently cause severe devastation such as: loss of load, damage to cargo or vehicle, accidents, fines and citations, and often times death.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently released a study which detailed the risks associated with the transportation of hazardous and non-hazardous materials by commercial vehicles. The study found that in semi truck accidents caused by non-hazardous material, such as organic soil, result in over 125,000 accidents each year. Of the 125,000 non-hazardous material accidents, it was reported that over 109,000 accidents resulted in injuries while 5,000 resulted in fatalities. Additionally, cargo spills account for over 2,500 accidents each year.

Earlier today, our Illinois truck accident attorneys read a report detailing a semi truck accident that resulted in the fatality of a passenger vehicle driver. A pickup truck was traveling along the shoulder of an interstate highway when the vehicle attempted to entered a busy interstate highway. Upon entering the highway, the pickup truck was struck by an oncoming tractor-trailer. A semi truck hauling a propane tank was traveling behind both vehicles and was unable to brake in time – subsequently causing a second collision. The collision ignited the second semi truck’s propane tank causing all three vehicles to ignite in flames. The driver of the pickup truck was pronounced dead at the scene from the injuries sustained. Both drivers of the semi trucks surprisingly remained unharmed in the fiery collision.

While our blogs frequently discuss semi truck accidents caused by semi truck driver error, another frequent common cause of semi truck collisions is due to unsafe acts by drivers of passenger vehicles. Drivers of passenger vehicles are required to operate with the same operational standard of care as those who drive large commercial vehicles. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently conducted a study which determined that of the 40,000 people killed in motor vehicle accidents each year, about 12% (or 5,000) people were killed in collision involving commercial vehicles. Of that number, it was concluded that commercial vehicle drivers were held liable for the accident about 44% of the time. In another study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it was found that in 2010, over 500,000 large trucks and commercial vehicles were involved in accidents – with over 100,000 injuries and 5,000 deaths resulting.

Our Chicago truck accident lawyers continue to encourage safe driving habits each and every time a motor vehicle is operated. Every year, our experienced accident attorneys handle cases for victims whose lives have been turned upside down as the result of semi truck accidents. When the negligent driving of another vehicle results in severe injury or even death, civil litigation can often be sought. Accident victims may be able to seek compensation for their damages including: loss of wages, medical bills, physical and emotion pain, as well as, punitive damages aimed to punish the negligent party’s wrongful behavior. If you have been involved in an accident, please contact an Illinois truck accident lawyer. Our attorneys will provide a free initial consultation to help determine what legal rights may be available to you.

Earlier today, our Chicago truck accident attorneys read a report on ABCLocal.com detailing a semi truck accident on the Dan Ryan. The semi truck jack-knifed on the ramp near 26th Street at around noon and caused diesel fuel to leak from the truck. Traffic on the Dan Ryan came to a complete halt for over four hours as a hazardous material team cleans the roads. While the cause of the accident is unknown, the truck driver remained uninjured and the accident caused no other crashes.

Although this semi truck accident resulted in no injuries or fatalities, often times accidents involving hazardous materials can often prove deadly. A study was conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in 2004 investigating crashes involving trucks carrying hazardous materials. The study found that of the 800,000 shipments of hazardous materials each year by commercial trucks, over 200 are involved in fatal crashes while 5,000 trucks are involved in non-fatal crashes. Although this number is substantially smaller than the total of trucks involved in crashes, the potential for injury and property damage in hazardous material crashes is significantly greater.

The United States Department of Transportation holds drivers of hazardous materials to strict regulations to avoid such deadly accidents. These regulations cover various regulations involving the loading and operating of hazardous materials. The state of Illinois also regulates the transportation of hazardous material. Illinois has the ability to suspend or restrict a driver from transporting hazmat materials, as well as, impose a $10,000 fine to a driver or their company if they are found in violations of federal or state regulations.

A Southern Illinois man was killed in a trucking accident on the morning of April 12th. The victim was an elderly man, 95 years old, and the accident occurred when he failed to yield at a stop sign causing his car to be struck by a tractor-trailer. The truck flipped on its side but the trucking driver only suffered minor personal injuries and is expected to recover fully according to WSIL TV. The elderly man was killed as a result of the injuries he sustained from the accident. The area of Route 148 where the fatal accident occurred was shut down for most of the day to clean up the gasoline spill from the tanker truck. To read more about this Williamson County trucking accident, please click on the link.

Many accidents, like the one above, are caused by elderly drivers whose reaction times may make it difficult for them to drive. If you are a elderly driver or have an elderly family member that is still driving, it is important to look for warning signs that may mean that you should not still be behind the wheel and be aware of safety tips for elderly drivers. Some of the things to look out for and be aware of how they can affect your driving are visual decline, hearing loss, limited mobility and increased reaction time, overall drowsiness, dementia and affects that medication may have on driving ability. All of these changes that often come with age can affect driving and it is very important to remember to respect these changes and make sure you are safe to drive. Certain tips are offered by Help Guide‘s website to help elderly drivers make sure they are safe while driving and they include making sure that the car is right for you and that you are comfortable driving it, driving slowly and on familiar routes and maintaining distance from other cars, avoiding distractions that might take away from your concentration, and avoiding uncomfortable driving situations such as new areas, crowded streets, and weather problems. To read more about elderly drivers and tips to help avoid car accidents, please click on this hyperlink.

A trucking accident in Macomb early on the morning of October 11th led to a diesel fuel spill. According to The Peoria Journal Star, the semi-truck was heading northbound on US Route 67 when a deer ran into the truck’s path and the truck hit the deer. While minor damage was done to the front of the truck, the deer went under the truck, tearing a hole in the truck’s fuel line which caused the contents of the tank to spill. The spill was cleaned up by fire officials following this trucking accident.

State police had to shut down the northbound local lanes of the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago, Illinois after a semi-tractor trailer truck jack-knifed and spilled diesel fuel following the truck accident. The truck crashed when the driver lost control in the northbound local lanes of the rain-slicked highway. No other vehicles were involved and no one was personally injured in the truck accident. The Chicago Fire Department responded to a hazardous materials alarm and had to put down sand to clean up the 50 to 75 gallons of spilled diesel fuel. To read more about the truck accident, please click the link.

According to a report on Chicago Breaking News, a propane truck was involved in an accident on April 20 in the Chicago suburb of Addison, IL. The accident happened after the driver lost control of the truck while getting on an entrance ramp to I-355. This caused the truck to rollover and block the ramp to the busy expressway. The driver was able to get out of the truck on his own and did not suffer serious injuries. No other vehicles were involved in the truck accident and no propane leaked from the tank of the truck. Visit the link to read more about this Chicago truck accident.

A truck accident involving three tractor-trailers occurred on April 16. The accident shut down a highway roughly 70 miles south of Chicago for several hours while crews cleaned up hazardous materials that spilled onto the road during the crash. According to a report on CBS 2 Chicago, the accident was caused when the three trucks rear-ended each other. One of the trucks involved in the accident was carrying Pyridine. The report did not indicate whether anyone involved in the accident was injured. Read the full story of this trucking accident by following the hyperlink.

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