Our Illinois semi truck accident attorneys recently read a report in the Belleville News-Democrat detailing a fatal semi truck collision that took the life of a 48-year-old Collinsville woman. The female driver was traveling south on Illinois 111 near Pontoon Beach earlier this morning when her vehicle drifted across the center line into the northbound lanes. The woman’s vehicle was subsequently struck by an oncoming semi tractor-trailer. The 48-year-old driver was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision and she was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the commercial vehicle was not injured in the accident. Local authorities state that they will be performing a toxicology test on the deceased driver to see if alcohol or drugs played a factor in the accident.
Seat belts are one of the most important safety features in motor vehicles. These devices help prevent further bodily harm or even death in case of an accident. James Madison University recently conducted a study to determine safety belt use statistics. The study found that each year approximately 35,000 people die in motor vehicle accidents. Of those 35,000 people, about 50% (17,000) of these individuals’ lives could have been saved if they wore safety belts. In addition, when safety belts are used properly, they reduce the number of serious traffic accident related injuries by 50% and fatalities by 60-70%.
The state of Illinois has recognized the increasing injuries and fatalities that result from the lack of safety belt use in motor vehicle accidents. Under current Illinois law, each driver and front seat passengers are required to wear seat belts that are properly adjusted and fastened. Additionally, each driver under the age of 18, as well as, driver passengers under the age of 19 is legally required to wear a safety belt. Any violation of Illinois seat belt laws may result in a $25 fine. Even though in 2009 over 130,000 Illinois residents were fined for a safety belt violation, overall seat belt usage rose to 90.1% the same year.
Our Chicago accident attorneys continue to encourage safe driving habits for all Illinois residents. Motor vehicle accidents, especially those involving large commercial vehicles, could prove fatal when safety belts are not worn or properly secured. With Illinois’s rigorous enforcement programs to mandate seat belt use, our Illinois injury attorneys hope that future accidents such as this one can be avoided at all costs. This simple device could one day save the life of you or a loved one.