According to an online news report by McCraken.kfvs12.com, a vehicle that stalled out in the middle of the road caused a serious four-car accident last week. A Chicago truck accident lawyer at our firm read that the vehicle, driven by a 33 year-old man, stopped on the I-24 bridge in McCracken County around 4pm because of an empty fuel tank. A car traveling westbound, driven by a 41 year-old woman of Golconda, Illinois, spotted the stalled vehicle and swerved to avoid hitting it. After swerving, the woman’s car was hit from behind by a semi trailer, pushing it right into the stalled vehicle. To make matters worse, the 52-year-old driver of the semi trailer then swerved, and as a result struck another semi trailer.
The McCracken County Sheriff’s Department was called and responded to the stalled vehicle, but did not reach the scene in time to prevent this accident. Police say the driver of the second semi trailer was the only person who suffered injuries and was taken to an area hospital for treatment. The road was closed for an hour and a half in order to properly investigate the accident.
From the perspective of one of our Chicago truck accident attorneys, chain reaction collisions are very serious and can cause life-threatening injuries to those involved. If these collisions include semi trucks or other large commercial vehicles, the likelihood of serious injury greatly increases. The primary cause of the chain reaction described above was a stalled vehicle due to an empty fuel tank. Many drivers often postpone filling up their gas tanks until it is too late, potentially causing danger to themselves and others on the roadway. It is suggested that drivers fill up their gas tanks when they are about halfway empty to prevent the level from getting too low before finding the time to fill them up. Be sure your vehicle and its accessories are always working correctly by routinely checking your tires, brakes, lights, windows, and windshields. If there is a malfunction with your vehicle or you are involved in an accident, use your signals properly to move to the side of the road, or at least turn on your hazard lights to warn approaching vehicles.
Other chain reactions more commonly occur due to tailgating and failing to maintain a safe distance from others on the roadway. Thus, it is important to always keep your eyes moving to remain aware of other motorists, bicyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and street signs. You should allow a distance of ten feet in between you and the vehicle in front of you for every ten miles per hour you are traveling. For example, if you are traveling at 60 miles per hour, this distance would be sixty feet. Heavier vehicles like semi trucks and trailers require longer distances, and distance should also be increased between all vehicles while driving in poor weather conditions. Rule of thumb, if you know you wouldn’t be able to stop your vehicle within the distance you are following another, then you are most likely driving way too close.
Chain reaction accidents can happen in a matter of seconds and cause serious injury, especially if they involve semi trucks. If another motorist suddenly brakes or there is a stall in traffic, keeping a safe distance from the vehicles in front of you, as well as properly maintaining your own vehicle, will not only help to keep you safe, but will help to prevent injury to others on the road. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti are willing to assist you if you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries, medical expenses, or property damage as a result of a trucking accident. To find out if legal recourse may be available to you, contact one of our Illinois truck accident lawyers. We are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action.