U.S. 24 was closed for nearly eight hours last Thursday after a three-vehicle accident involving two tractor-trailer units and a three-axle straight truck, according to Whig.com. An Illinois truck accident attorney at our law firm learned that a 58-year old man of Granville, Illinois was driving east on the highway around 12:50pm when heavy winds blew his truck sideways. As a result, the truck collided with the front end of a second tractor-trailer, driven by a 50-year old man of Murrayville. After the collision, the second truck spun out of control and came to a sudden stop, blocking U.S. 24.
To make matters worse, the driver of an International three-axle straight truck was also driving east on the highway when he approached the above accident. He was unable to stop his vehicle in time and ran off the right side of the road, overturning his truck seconds later.
Illinois State Police say all three drivers were wearing seat belts. The first tractor-trailer driver was reported to have suffered serious injures, the second tractor-trailer driver reported no injures, and the three-axle straight truck driver sustained moderate injuries and was transported to a local hospital. All three trucks were extremely damaged after the accident, and traffic on U.S. 24 was stopped for nearly eight hours as the trucks were removed and crews worked to clear the scene. Assisting at the site of the accident were the Brown County Sheriff’s Department and Fire and Rescue Team, in addition to the Schuyler County Ambulance.
It is important to note that the primary cause of this accident was the heavy winds that led the first tractor-trailer truck to blow sideways and collide with the second tractor-trailer truck. High winds are one of the top causes of car and truck accidents, producing many collisions and overturning many vehicles on Illinois roadways each year. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, high winds are usually defined as sustained gusts of winds of at least 40mph and reaching up to 58mph. They cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles and can even push them right off of the road. Unfortunately, wind is an overlooked danger to drivers, as most individuals fail to realize the potential dangers winds can have until it is too late.
In the case that heavy winds are present while driving, our attorneys believe an important step that can be taken to help prevent an accident from occurring is not driving over the speed limit, even decreasing speed if necessary. High speeds in combination with high winds can be especially dangerous. In addition, it is important to always keep your hands on the wheel, remain aware of your surroundings, and maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.
Many times, high winds will be strong enough to cause a vehicle to lose control no matter what the circumstances, but following the above steps will help to greatly decrease the risk of an accident. In the case that you or someone you know has been injured in an accident due to a negligent motorist, please contact our law firm for more information.