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On September 19, 2016, Illinois State Police reported to a tractor-trailer related accident. This auto accident occurred around 11:15 a.m. at the intersection of Illinois 1 and Kankakee County Road 12000 North. The driver of a 1993 Jeep was headed east on 12000 North. He did not stop at the intersection’s stop sign. His Jeep then forcefully crashed into 2017 Kenworth tractor-trailer headed north. The driver of the 1993 Jeep was airlifted to a nearby hospital and sadly died the next day.

These accidents are not rare. Rather, tractor-trailer related accidents run rampant across the United States. In fact, and according to Legal Info, there are nearly 500,000 tractor-trailer related accidents every year! Around 5,000 of these accidents result in fatalities. It is also reported that one out of every eight traffic fatality involves a collision with a tractor-trailer. A lot of these accidents happen right here in Illinois, too.  

There are several driving techniques to help you avoid colliding with a tractor-trailer. First however, if you are injured from an auto accident involving a tractor-trailer, it is important to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer.

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On the breezy afternoon of October 11 2016, just after 4:00 p.m., a child was struck by a tractor-trailer. The tractor-trailer was headed south on Main Street in New Boston, Illinois. This child allegedly entered the road seconds before being hit by the truck. He sustained life-threatening injuries. Once hit, the child was rushed to a local hospital and was then airlifted to another hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Thousands of deaths occur every year from people crossing the roadways. Sometimes the accident is at the fault of the driver and not the pedestrian. For instance, sometimes the accident occurs because the approaching vehicle is traveling too fast, is distracted, is drunk/impaired, is sleeping, or for other negligent behavior.

If you or your loved one sustains an injury related to the foregoing, you may be entitled to compensation for the resulting damages. To increase your chances at a successful claim, it is important that you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation.

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Recently, in Illinois, a three-vehicle collision resulted in two individuals being transported to a nearby hospital. This accident occurred on United States Highway 20 near Illinois Route 73. It, unfortunately, involved a massive tractor-tractor crashing into two smaller vans. One of the individuals involved, was airlifted to a nearby Rockford hospital and a second individual was transported in an ambulance. Tractor-trailers, such as this one, are powerful, extremely heavy, and run rampant on United States highways posing the risk of severe injury at every turn.

As a matter of fact, there are nearly 5.6 million registered tractor-trailers in the United States. These tractor-trailers drive an average of 45,000 miles annually. However, the trucking industry and the Federal Highway Administration estimate this average to be around 100,000 miles for the long-distance trucks. The maximum weight for a United States tractor-trailer, including its full trailer spread of about 53 feet in length, is 80,000 pounds. This weight is spread across 18 wheels.

Weight Standards for Tractor-Trailers

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Just last month, a 2005 Freightliner tractor-trailer was involved in a fatal automobile accident with a Lownders County school bus while traveling on Interstate 75. At the time of this accident, the truck was carrying an oversized load of large metal beams. The truck, along with all of its massive beams, collided with the rear-driver’s side of the school bus.

There were around 30 children on the bus. From this collision, 13 children were transported to a nearby hospital for injuries sustained. One student, 15 years of age, died as a result of her injuries she sustained from this incident.

The victims and their families involved in this case now face a decision. They may seek compensation from the tractor-trailer’s driver himself or from the truck’s Illinois-based tractor-trailer company under grounds of vicarious liability.

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With the holiday season quickly approaching, many of us will be driving out of town to visit family and/or friends. Most people doing so will drive their personal vehicle. When taking a personal vehicle, it is important to keep track of any recalls pertaining to your vehicle. You do not want to risk having a car accident.

Typically, if there is a recall on your vehicle, you will be notified by mail. The letter will normally sound serous. For instance, the letter may indicate that if you do not take action under the recall, you may be killed or someone else may be killed.

As you may know, a lot of people hesitate to repair their vehicle per the recall. For instance, in California, there are at least five million people still driving vehicles that are subject to a recall.

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Tractor-trailer accidents are not a rarity here in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Transportation reports that in the year 2012 alone, there were 9,739 reported auto accidents involving tractor-trailers. These tractor-trailer accidents account for 3.8 percent of all reported auto accidents in Illinois. Tractor-trailer involved accidents often result in fatalities! This is a problem across the nation. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that in 2012 there were 3,802 tractor-trailers connected to fatal auto accidents.

Causes of Tractor-Trailer Accidents and Automated Tests

There are numerous causes of tractor-trailer accidents; some are more common than others. The common causes are driver fatigue, defective brakes, traffic patterns, drugs and speeding. In hopes of reducing tractor-trailer related accidents, Peloton Technology is experimenting with automated tractor-trailers.  

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One negative aspect of being a tractor-trailer driver has to deal with road rage. Though normally it is the vehicles around the tractor-trailer with road rage, tractor-trailer drivers themselves tend to exhibit road rage behaviors, too.

In short, road rage is defined as a driver’s uncontrolled anger that is normally provoked by another driver’s irritating act and is expressed in aggressive or even violent behavior. Road rage sometimes results in death! For instance, on Highway 10 in Jacksonville, Florida, in an act of road rage, one tractor-trailer driver pulled up beside a second tractor-trailer driver and fired a fatal gun shot at the driver!  

Relevant Statistics and Causes

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Truck driver fatigue has been a major issue not only in Illinois, but throughout our country. It is one which many government representatives are trying to tackle through legislation and attorneys, like ours, are trying to battle through legal action. When a truck driver operates a truck with too little sleep and too many consecutive hours of driving, they are not only putting all others on the road in danger and breaching their legal duty of care to be safe drivers, but they are breaking the law.

The federal law is known as the Hours of Service of Drivers Final Rule, and it was published in 2011, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The Hours of Service regulations impose limits on how long a driver may operate the truck and continue driving over a consecutive period without a break. For property-carrying drivers, such as commercial truckers, there is an 11-hour driving limit after 10 consecutive hours off duty. Drivers also may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. As for rest breaks, a driver may only drive if 8 hours or less have passed since the end of a driver’s last off-duty or sleeper berth period of at least 30 minutes.
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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.
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In previous posts we discussed the fatal I-88 crash that took the life of one Illinois emergency responder and critically injured another. As this case has continued to unfold, we wish to keep you up to date on the legal developments occurring after this truck accident.

As a recap, a truck driver from DND International Inc. was criminally charged for the January 27th I-88 crash. This crash killed a tollway worker and critically injured an Illinois State Trooper. At the time, the tollway worker was helping a disabled truck on the side of the highway, alongside the Illinois State Trooper. The DND truck driver then crashed into their parked vehicles. The driver was operating the semi-truck while extremely impaired or fatigued, and made false logs about how long his shifts had been. At the time, he had worked for 37 straight hours.

Since the accident investigators have worked to determine the cause and who may be to blame for the accident, including investigations into the truck driver and the trucking company that employed him. According to new reports, as a result of these investigations, federal regulators have ordered the Naperville trucking company’s vehicles off the road, as reported in an article by the Chicago Sun-Times.