Wrjmdailynews.com recently released a report detailing a four-vehicle accident that occurred on I-57 last Monday night. Our attorneys learned that a 21-year old of Iroquois, Illinois was driving his passenger vehicle northbound on the interstate approaching milepost 187 while a 32 year-old of Chicago, Illinois was driving a semi-truck in the right lane. The driver of the passenger vehicle attempted to pass the semi but in the process, he sideswiped two utility vehicles parked on the side of the road. The semi truck then collided with the passenger vehicle and caused it to spin out of control, both eventually coming to rest in the median of the interstate.
After Illinois State Police responded to the scene, the semi-truck driver stated that he tried to avoid the impact with the passenger vehicle, but was unable to do so. He was transported to the Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana and treated for minor injuries. The driver of the passenger vehicle was transported to the Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Care Center in Mattoon. He was cited for improper lane usage, and a 21-year- woman who was riding in the front seat of the vehicle was cited for failure to wear a seat belt. Both drivers’ injuries were cared for and they are currently in stable condition. The Coles County Sheriff’s Office, Mattoon and Lakeland Police Departments, Mattoon Fire Department and the Illinois Department of Transportation all assisted in the accident.
Our attorneys understand that collisions between semi truck drivers and other motorists remain one of the most devastating types of accidents on Illinois roadways and can result in serious personal injury to those involved. While many accidents occur due to the negligence of semi truck drivers on the roadways, others commonly occur due to the careless ways in which passenger vehicles drive near and around these trucks, failing to realize the potential dangers that are associated with these actions. Therefore, we would like to offer all motorists some critical steps that can be taken to help you drive defensively and ultimately avoid being involved in a semi truck accident in the future.
Based on the above report, always place a significant amount of distance between you and a semi truck on highways or larger roadways. Understand that trucks are not like other ordinary vehicles; a truck’s size and weight can affect the driver’s ability to brake and change lanes safely. Thus, try to avoid driving next to a truck for an extended period of time, and if you must pass a truck, do so quickly. Also understand that semi trucks have many more blind spots than cars do, with limited visibility next to and behind the truck. Note that there are a greater amount of blind spots on the passenger side of the truck, so if you are passing it, try to do so on the left side whenever possible. Always try to stay in the truck’s visibility; if you cannot see the truck driver or his mirrors, odds are he is also unable to see you.
In addition, remain cautious when entering a highway from an entrance ramp onto a fast paced highway, where trucks may have trouble slowing down to allow you to merge in. If you ever need to stop on a highway, pull completely off of the road, as truck drivers may not realize that cars too close to the highway are stopped until it is too late. Finally, avoid road rage or becoming aggressive against trucks. If a truck driver is driving aggressively, do not retaliate. It is best to keep distance between you and the truck, in addition to other vehicles on the road that may be driving in an aggressive manner because of a truck.
From the perspective of our attorneys, it is essential that all motorists exercise great caution when driving near or around semi trucks. When motorists do suffer serious injuries as the result of a careless or negligent semi truck driver, they have the right to take action. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti are very familiar with Illinois trucking laws and have represented many individuals and families in trucking accident lawsuits consisting of issues similar to those described above.
If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in an Illinois trucking accident due to a negligent driver, please contact us to learn about what rights and compensation may be available to you.