Articles Posted in Trucking Accident

Two weeks ago a semi truck tipped over on Interstate 94 near Calhoun County and blocked traffic for miles, according to a report from CBS Local. The accident took place at 12:36pm at the entrance ramp to westbound I-94 when police say the truck driver was entering the highway too fast. The truck reportedly crossed the driving lane and tipped onto its side in the passing lane under an interstate bridge.

Police say the semi truck driver, a 48-year old man of Chicago, had 40,000 pounds of goods in the trailer of his truck. Heavy wreckers lifted the semi back onto its wheels and then it was towed away, allowing authorities to reopen all roads by later that afternoon. The driver was taken to a nearby hospital with minor head injuries and was ticketed for careless driving.

The report continues to state that a nearly identical accident occurred just a week before when another truck, entering from the same ramp, flipped onto its side and slid into the left lane of westbound I-94. Our truck accident attorneys note that while many accidents occur on Illinois interstates and highways each year, it is becoming more and more common to learn of these accidents taking place on freeway entrance and exit ramps in comparison to other segments of the highway.

The dangers associated with large trucks, including semis, tractor-trailers, and other commercial vehicles are immense. These trucks sometimes weigh up to 80,000 pounds and account for a great number of traffic injury and death each year. Could you image increasing the size and weight of these trucks? Neither could we. Our attorneys recently read and support the ideas behind a Saferoads report regarding the need to freeze the maximum size and weight of trucks in order to increase the safety of all individuals traveling on Illinois interstates and highways.

Freezing the size and weight of large trucks is necessary because in simple terms, bigger trucks compromise safety. The heavier a truck is, the more the chances of a truck accident occurring and resulting in serious injuries or fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that large trucks are involved in 11% of all crash fatalities. In 2009, nearly one-quarter of occupant fatalities in passenger vehicles that had multi-vehicle collisions were the result of accidents involving large trucks. In two-vehicle crashes involving passenger vehicles and large trucks, 98% of the fatalities were occupants of the passenger vehicle.

In addition to injuries and fatalities, the issue of cost is at hand. Truck related accidents cost up to $19 billion each year, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Fatal truck accidents create the highest costs, with an average of $3 million spent per accident. These costs include medical bills, lost wages, road damage, and other projected costs. Specifically, road damage has become a serious issue in that one legal 80,000-pound tractor-trailer truck does as much damage to road pavement as 9,600 cars. By damaging roads, large trucks further degrade highway safety and continue to add to the costs caused by trucks. With even heavier trucks, interstate highways would simply be unable to accommodate them.

Poor weather conditions are reported to be a cause of a sudden semi-trailer accident on Interstate 55 this week. Illinois Pantagraph recently released that the semitrailer truck crashed and burned on the interstate during a severe rainstorm in Normal. The 45-year old driver was traveling north near mile-marker 161 around 2:40pm when he abruptly lost control of his vehicle. Illinois State Police say the truck jackknifed, struck the center median barrier, and then caught on fire.

Wreckage from the truck was scattered across the highway, according to the report, and flames destroyed the truck’s cab. Motorists could see a huge column of smoke from miles away and were at a standstill for almost an hour as firefighters worked to contain the fire. Firefighters from Bloomington and Normal and an Illinois Department of Transportation crew responded to the accident and helped to clear the scene. The driver was treated at a nearby medical center for what authorities say were moderate injuries, and he was later charged with driving too fast for conditions.

From the perspective of our truck accident law firm, while negligent motorists are commonly the cause of accidents and personal injury on Illinois roadways, hundreds of accidents each year are due to the uncontrollable and often times unpredictable onset of rain and poor weather conditions. These conditions certainly do not make the physical aspect of driving any easier, and also affect the manner in which we drive, whether that is excessively timid or dangerously reckless. Therefore, we would like to offer all motorists some information about how rain can affect driving conditions and what steps you can take to remain safe behind the wheel when they occur.

Interstate 55 was closed for eight hours last Tuesday after a semi truck accident resulted in a massive vehicle fire. CBS Chicago reported that the crash took place near southwest suburban Channahon last Tuesday around 6:20am. Police say a 66-year old Freightliner semi truck driver was approaching a construction zone in the southbound lanes of the interstate when he failed to stop and crashed into the back of a second semi truck, driven by a 48-year old Joliet man. This semi was then pushed into the passenger vehicle in front of it.

Soon after the accident, the Freightliner caught fire due to its load consisting of paper products, according to authorities. The drivers involved were thankfully able to make it out of their vehicles before the fire had begun. Witnesses were shocked to travel past the huge clouds of black smoke and flames that consumed the semi truck. Crews from the Channahon Fire Department rushed to the scene and put out the fire by 8:15am, although a district sergeant told reporters that the truck was still burning hours later. The driver of the Freightliner was ticketed for failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

From the perspective of our personal injury lawyers, although no injuries were reported in this accident, there are many ways it could have been much more severe. The consequences of any type of road accident often bring harm or suffering to those involved, including injury, medical bills, property damage, or the loss of a loved one. Vehicle fires, a common result of car and trucking accidents, are known to increase the risk of these expenses. We would like to take this opportunity to present some fire safety rules that all drivers should be aware of in the case that you experience a fire in your vehicle.

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.”

Although our truck accident lawyers regularly discuss motor vehicle accidents that are caused by negligent drivers, others can be due to defective parts or general vehicle malfunctions. This may include defects with brakes, seatbelts, the steering wheel, airbags, or tires, all of which can occur for a variety of reasons and often without warning. If your vehicle endures a vehicle malfunction while you are driving, the experience can be scary and can potentially cause serious injury to you or others involved in a collision.

According to ABC 7 News, a box truck blew a tire while traveling in the northbound lane of Interstate 94 near Wadsworth last month. The truck lost control and sideswiped a semi truck shortly afterwards. Even worse, the semi-truck then hit the center median and light pole, which fell across the southbound lanes of the interstate and struck three vehicles in the opposite lanes. The semi truck burst into flames, and traffic was backed up in both directions as officials cleared the scene.

Thankfully, only minor injuries were reported in this multi-vehicle accident. National crash data shows approximately 23,000 collisions and 530 fatalities take place every year around the country because of tire blowouts. Though this type of malfunction is common, its occurrence is generally unexpected and can have serious consequences.

An Illinois semi truck driver is facing severe consequences after his vehicle struck and killed four family members. The accident was caused by driver fatigue. The Chicago Sun Times released a report detailing the accident that occurred when the 36-year old truck driver of River Grove slammed into the back of another car while travelling westbound on Interstate 80. The impact caused this car, driven by a 30-year old man, to crash into a nearby car, driven by his 28-year old wife and carrying his two young children in the backseat. This car was then propelled underneath a truck and trailer nearby on the roadway. All vehicles burst into flames, and all four family members in both cars were pronounced dead at the scene.

The semi driver currently remains in jail and had a bond review hearing for $1 million. He was charged with four felony counts of manslaughter and four more counts of vehicular homicide due to driver fatigue. The manslaughter charges carry penalties of twenty years imprisonment and a fine of up to $25,000 on each count upon conviction, and the motor vehicle homicide counts carry a sentence of up to five years incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000 on each charge upon conviction, according to the report.

Our truck accident lawyers learned that the driver’s truck company, AKI Trucking Inc. of Romeoville, has been in operation since 2010. Online records from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) reveal that the company’s recent Driver Fatigued Scores were notably alarming. During the last two years, the company has received a composite Fatigued Driving Score of 80.9%; the threshold allowed before FMSCA intervention is 65%. These percentages come from compilations of out of service violations or poor inspections. During a recent inspection, an operator was cited for failure to retain his previous seven days’ hours of service logs, as required by law. Incomplete logs often signal that a particular driver is operating his vehicle past the 14-hour service or 11-hour driving limit, per service day. The FMSCA will now possibly conduct an investigation of the company.

A truck accident lawyer at our firm recently read a report from The Belleville News Democrat that details a serious semi-tractor trailer collision on Interstate 55. According to an Illinois State Spokesman, two semi-trailers were southbound on the interstate near the Livingston exit when they approached a construction zone that reduced the interstate to one lane. Although the first semi truck was stopped in the right lane of traffic, the second truck driver failed to notice that it was completely stopped and then struck it from behind.

The second semi trailer’s cab was completely crushed from the impact. Emergency personnel had to cut the driver from the vehicle and later airlifted him to a nearby hospital. He remains in serious condition, while the driver of the truck that was hit suffered minor injuries. Southbound lanes of the interstate were closed for several hours while the Illinois State Police Certified Truck Inspection Team inspected the trucks for safety violations.

Road construction is nothing out of the ordinary for the Chicagoland area. Bright orange cones, flashing signs, construction vehicles, and ongoing road maintenance are common sights for Illinois drivers, but they also may cause changes in traffic flow and speed limits that can be very dangerous for drivers and road construction crews. According to data from the Illinois Department of Transportation, 1,525 drivers were injured and 24 were killed in work zone accidents in 2011.

It is obvious that the height and weight of a semi truck is massive compared to the size of a typical passenger vehicle. When a semi truck is traveling in the lane next to a passenger vehicle on a highway or interstate, their size seems even larger and causes many drivers to feel anxious and intimidated. Recently, the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois Trucking Association, and the Illinois State Police have spoken out about the importance of commercial trucking on Illinois highways and released some basic tips for driving near semi trucks. Our truck accident law firm thought our readers would benefit from learning of these tips to help reduce the fear of semi trucks that many motorists have, as well as to help keep roadways safer for all vehicles.

-First, giving semi trucks enough room to travel on side roads and highways is essential. This is especially true when roads are congested due to traffic or construction. Give trucks room to change lanes, make turns at intersections, and to enter freeways through exit ramps, and remember that it takes additional time for semi trucks to complete these actions.

-Try to avoid making sudden lane changes, stops, or changes in speed when a semi truck is traveling immediately behind you. Because trucks take longer to stop, driving in a manner that a truck driver would not be able to anticipate could result in a chain-reaction collision or accident. Maintaining a safe distance from semi trucks will also help to prevent an accident.

ABC Local released an accident report last Thursday that authorities and witnesses are declaring nothing less than a tragedy. A family of seven, including three adults and four children, was traveling home on Interstate 65 around 10pm when traffic had slowed for construction. An inattentive semi truck driver suddenly rear-ended the jeep. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the impact pushed the jeep into another semi truck in front of it.

When state police arrived at the scene, a sergeant stated, “The Jeep was burned, for the most part, beyond recognition.” Because of the damage the vehicle sustained and the compaction of the vehicle after impact, authorities initially estimated that only two people were trapped inside. After looking more closely, they discovered that seven individuals had been killed: a 27-year-old mom with her 5 and 3-year-old daughters, the woman’s sister and her two young children, and the children’s uncle. The semi truck driver remained uninjured, and no citations or charges have been filed in the case so far.

Our wrongful death lawyers and many others were saddened by the number of individuals killed in this accident, in addition to the fact that four of those people were children under the age of 8 years old. Though details are continuing to be released about the collision, police say, “The cause of the crash was due to inattentive driving and negligence on the semi-tractor trailer driver’s part.” The report states that the driver has been ticketed for speeding at least five times since 2006 and has also been cited for failing to submit to a required truck weigh-in, both possibly contributing to the accident. A witness from a nearby day care center said, “There’s no reason for a family to be missing seven family members today due to somebody not paying attention.”

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