Articles Posted in Trucking Accident

We’ve all driven near bicyclists before, sometimes on smaller roadways or intersections, and other times on larger roadways or even highways. Occasionally, passing motorists become irritated by bicyclists, especially if the bicyclist is traveling directly in the middle of a lane instead of on a bike trail or sidewalk nearby. These bicyclists instantly become disliked because they are “in the way” or are slowing traffic.

Even so, we commonly see street signs that say, “Share the Road” in reference to bicyclists. Many motorists are unaware that bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles and therefore have every right share the road with them. Instead, they are commonly disregarded by drivers who may fail to yield to them, fail to give them the space they need while riding on roadways, disregard the rules of the road, or become distracted while driving. This only increases the chance that a bicyclist will become a victim in serious accident or collision.

Chicago Tribune recently reported that a bicyclist was struck and killed by a semi-trailer truck in Chicago last week. Our personal injury attorneys read that the semi struck the 40-year old woman around 1:30pm when she was riding on the side of a road in a small South Side neighborhood. Authorities say the woman was dead at the scene and the Cook County medical examiner’s office was then notified.

Chicagotribune.com recently reported that two large flatbed trucks collided last week and caused a large fire on Interstate 90 near Barrington. Police say one of the trucks was southbound in the right-hand lane of the interstate around 9am when it attempted to merge into the lane on its left. In the process, another flatbed truck struck it from behind.

Drivers were shocked to travel past the huge clouds of black smoke and flames that consumed both of the trucks. Local fire departments rushed to the scene, one firefighter saying “It was all flames when I got there.” The flames were reportedly high enough to touch nearby utility wires stretching across the roadway. Leaking diesel fuel mixed with the water that firefighters used to douse the trucks caused a small fire that ran down the edge of the roadway. A firefighter working on the scene almost got trapped between the fire in the vehicles and the fire along the side of the road. The flames were large enough to completely destroy the cab of one truck and the engine compartment of the other.

Neither driver was injured in the accident, although an officer at the scene told reporters, “There are a lot of ways this could have been a lot worse.” The first flatbed truck had been carrying big pipes, machinery, and other equipment that could have easily caused more injury or damage. The second flatbed truck was issued a ticket for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. He allegedly told state police that he had put on the brakes, but too late to avoid the collision.

A drunk driver that killed a woman in a head-on collision pleaded guilty last week in Madison County Circuit Court. Bnd.com released that the driver’s trial began on multiple charges relating to driving under the influence of alcohol in a fatal accident. The 36-year old of Clinton County caused the accident in February of 2010 when his pickup truck crashed into the woman’s SUV on Illinois 160 near Highland Road.

The woman from Trenton was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead. Her mother was a passenger in the truck and suffered critical injuries. The pickup truck driver pleaded guilty last Friday morning to two of the four DUI charges, which included aggravated DUI resulting in death, and aggravated DUI resulting in bodily harm. It was reported that he already had two DUI charges within seven years when the accident took place. He was sentenced to 42 months in prison on each count.

Cases similar to the one above are all too common in Illinois. 47% of Illinois motor vehicle fatalities are estimated to involve alcohol, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is also stated that nearly three of every ten Americans are involved in an alcohol-related traffic accident in their lifetime. Our truck accident attorneys represent individuals and families who have suffered due to a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent motorist. We recently represented the family of a 32-year old woman who was killed by a semi-truck trailer driven by an impaired motorist.

An accident outside of Gurnee near Six Flags Great America injured sixteen people last Friday morning, according to Chicagotribune.com. Families and children traveling to the state theme park were stunned to see the six-vehicle crash and six ambulances that had responded to the scene. A truck accident attorney at our firm learned that the accident took place on I-94 at mile marker 9.5 near Grand Avenue, just north of Washington Street.

The accident was allegedly the result of a chain reaction collision involving three SUV’s, two passenger vehicles, and one semi truck that was hauling a trailer. Preliminary investigations of the accident determined that five vehicles were stopped in traffic in the far two right lanes of the interstate. The semi-truck was driving behind them and was unable to reduce speed. He then struck the rear of one of the vehicles, causing it to push into the others in front of it.

Gurnee Fire Department Chief reported that paramedics responded to the scene immediately and transported sixteen victims to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville. Of those victims, three were in critical condition and two were airlifted from the medical center via Flight for Life to another hospital in Park Ridge. The thirteen remaining patients, who included both adults and children, ranged from fair to serious condition. Illinois State Police say that all of the patients were wearing their seat belts at the time of the collision.

Timesherald.com reports that a tractor-trailer overturned on an Illinois expressway exit ramp last week, trapping the driver inside of the tractor. A truck accident lawyer at our firm read that the late-morning accident caused the driver to remain trapped until early afternoon as emergency rescue crews and authorities responded to the scene. Traffic was also stopped on the ramp for a significant amount of time. After over two hours, the male driver was finally freed from the wreck and was flown by a medical helicopter to a nearby hospital for treatment of unknown injuries. State police opened the exit ramp to traffic after the accident scene was cleared.

In comparison to other segments of the highway, a large number of Illinois accidents commonly occur on freeway entrance and exit ramps. This is often due to congestion taking place on the ramps, trucks traveling near or directly next to passenger vehicles or motorcycles, and motorists traveling over the speed limit at the same time as the ramp curves. The Illinois Department of Transportation states that additional common factors contributing to these accidents are poor weather, driving under the influence, and traveling at night.

In order to reduce the number of accidents on highway ramps, it is crucial to drive attentively, responsibly, and most importantly, defensively at all times. When entering a highway ramp, speed limit signs often changes to about 35mph; despite this, many drivers continue traveling at their current speed of up to 50 mph on the ramp. Be sure to slow down and look out for upcoming curves or turns on the ramp. If there are other vehicles on the ramp, allow a proper amount of distance in between yourself and these vehicles in order to prevent collisions.

Our law firm understands that collisions between semi truck drivers and other motorists remain one of the most devastating types of accidents on Illinois roadways. When these accidents involve motorcycles, the results can be extremely severe to those involved, especially the motorcyclist. This was the case on Wednesday when a motorcyclist was killed after a semi-truck tractor struck her from behind. The 57-year old motorcyclist was westbound near the U.S. Route 51 and Illinois State Route 16 at 2:00pm when she slowed to turn right into the Rosebud parking lot. According to the preliminary Illinois State Police report, the semi-truck hit her as she was turning, causing her to be thrown from her vehicle.

Pananewsonline.net reports that the motorcyclist died of injuries she sustained in the accident. She was pronounced dead on arrival in St. John’s Hospital in Springfield. The 34-year old semi-truck driver was uninjured and was later ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. The accident remains under investigation by state police.

From the perspective of our motorcycle accident attorneys, motorcycle riders who are stopped or are traveling at a slow speed in preparation to turn are at a very high risk for being hit from behind by other vehicles. Rear-end collisions are especially dangerous and often traumatic for motorcyclists. Due to the larger size and weight of semi trucks in combination with the smaller size and vulnerability of motorcycles, the likelihood of the motorcyclist sustaining serious injury during a collision occurring greatly increases.

Two women were injured after a Chicago Fire Department engine struck their vehicle in Chicago last Monday. The accident occurred at about 3:30pm at the intersection of Congress Parkway and Columbus Drive when the fire truck was responding to an emergency call in the Loop. The truck had its lights and sirens on as it attempted to travel through the intersection, according to a Chicago Fire Department spokesman. Witnesses say that while all other vehicles nearby stopped to allow the truck to proceed, the vehicle carrying both women failed to stop and reportedly turned in front of the truck on Columbus Drive. The fire truck then collided with the vehicle, which was pushed onto a sidewalk and into a parked car.

Abclocal.go.com states the women had to be extricated from the vehicle and were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious-to-critical condition. The fire department spokeswoman believes the women’s’ conditions were stabilized because of their vehicle’s full set of airbags having deployed after the collision. It was unclear whether any firefighters or fire personnel were injured, but damage to the fire truck was believed to be minimal.

Our accident lawyers remind drivers that Illinois has had a law in place for 10 years to protect emergency vehicles and personnel from both reckless drivers and drivers that may interfere with an emergency vehicle that is responding to an emergency call. The legislation was created after a Lieutenant of the Chicago Fire Department was struck and killed by a drunken driver while assisting at a traffic crash scene on the Dan Ryan Expressway in 2001. Scott’s Law, also known as the “Move Over Law,” was enacted in 2002 and requires Illinois motorists to reduce their speed and change lanes when approaching an emergency vehicle on the side of the road, being sure to proceed with caution. These emergency vehicles include police cars, fire engines, ambulances, and tow trucks. The law also requires that motorists yield to any vehicle equipped with red, white, blue, and/or yellow warning lights and yield to highway workers.

An Illinois truck accident lawyer at our firm recently read a report detailing a late-morning crash that left multiple lanes closed on Interstate 88. According to Dailyherald.com, the accident occurred last Thursday at approximately 12pm between Naperville Road and Yackley Road when the 48-year old driver of a tractor-trailer decided to change lanes. As he attempted to maneuver into the lane on his right, he struck a passenger vehicle. The result of this collision caused both the tractor-trailer and the passenger vehicle to turn out of control, eventually striking a flat bed tow truck nearby.

Illinois State Police reported that all three vehicles traveled off the right side of the road and into a ditch. Two of the drivers were transported to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital for treatment of injuries; it is not specified which vehicles these individuals were driving. The accident caused two lanes of eastbound I-88 to remain closed for more than four hours. All lanes were finally reopened just after 4pm. Investigators are continuing to work to determine what exactly triggered the accident.

From the perspective of our attorneys, a very large number of trucking accidents and collisions occur when truck drivers attempt to change lanes on highways and interstates. For semi trucks, tractor-trailers, and other large commercial vehicles, changing lanes can be extremely difficult because these vehicles have very large blind spots. Therefore, truck drivers tend to have difficulty seeing additional vehicles on the road around them. When driving near a semi truck, you will most likely know that the semi is near you, but the semi’s driver, however, may not be aware you are near. As displayed in the above report, accidents resulting from lane changes often involve more than two vehicles because the vehicles involved may spin out of control and into the path of others. This places many drivers on the road at a serious risk of injury, even if they are not involved in the initial collision.

Rrstar.com reports that a portion of Interstate 90 was closed near Rockford last week when a dump truck hit an overhead sign on the road. The incident happened at about 6:50am between State Street and Harrison Avenue. Illinois State Police say that the truck’s bed was in an upright position when it hit the sign. Witnesses also say that the collision almost caused the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle and change lanes. Luckily, no injuries were reported, and eastbound I-90 was closed as authorities inspected the sign. Westbound traffic was also closed so emergency equipment could be used to clear the accident scene.

Though this particular accident did not result in any personal injury, our truck accident lawyers have been informed of other accidents involving garbage trucks in recent months that were much more severe. For example, a 36-year old man of Chicago was struck and killed by a garbage truck in February, having suffered multiple blunt traumas. The driver of the truck was issued numerous citations for the collision. Additionally, a woman from Algonquin suffered serious injuries when her vehicle was struck from behind by a garbage truck.

Because garbage trucks seem to be a normal part of daily life for most, it is easy to dismiss them as dangerous; therefore, many individuals often fail to be cautious while driving or walking near them. Truthfully, these trucks have the capability to cause serious injury or fatality to anyone who comes too close. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), garbage trucks have the highest pedestrian killing rate on city roads. These vehicles’ large size, limited visibility, and proximity to sidewalks combine to create a pedestrian death rate that is nearly twice as high as what IDOT says is their next closest competitor, the bus. Specifically, garbage trucks kill nearly 24 pedestrians per 100 million miles driven. This number is quite large as compared to buses, which kill 14 people per 100 million miles driven, automobiles, which kill 8, and taxis, which kill 6.

State Police have recently reported the arrest of a truck driver who has been charged with multiple drunk driving charges after a traffic accident Monday night, according to Wgem.com. A Chicago truck accident attorney at our law firm learned that the driver of Roodhouse, Illinois was driving west on I-72 in Pike County just before 11pm when he drove his semi-trailer into a wooded area off of the road. After authorities arrived at the scene, the driver was taken to a nearby hospital, only having suffered minor injuries.

When later questioned regarding the accident, the driver stated he fell asleep behind the wheel. He was arrested for DUI, illegal transportation of an alcoholic beverage, improper lane usage, driving while fatigued, operation of a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence, and unlawful possession of alcohol in a commercial motor vehicle.

From the perspective of our lawyers, accidents involving semi trucks, trailer trucks, or other large commercial vehicles can result in personal injury and life altering consequences for not only the drivers of these trucks, but potentially other motorists and pedestrians on the roadway. Though the accident described above was fortunately a single-vehicle accident, it could have easily been prevented. There were clearly two primary factors at play that caused the truck driver to drive off of the road: driving while fatigued and driving under the influence.

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