Poor weather conditions are reported to be a cause of a sudden semi-trailer accident on Interstate 55 this week. Illinois Pantagraph recently released that the semitrailer truck crashed and burned on the interstate during a severe rainstorm in Normal. The 45-year old driver was traveling north near mile-marker 161 around 2:40pm when he abruptly lost control of his vehicle. Illinois State Police say the truck jackknifed, struck the center median barrier, and then caught on fire.
Wreckage from the truck was scattered across the highway, according to the report, and flames destroyed the truck’s cab. Motorists could see a huge column of smoke from miles away and were at a standstill for almost an hour as firefighters worked to contain the fire. Firefighters from Bloomington and Normal and an Illinois Department of Transportation crew responded to the accident and helped to clear the scene. The driver was treated at a nearby medical center for what authorities say were moderate injuries, and he was later charged with driving too fast for conditions.
From the perspective of our truck accident law firm, while negligent motorists are commonly the cause of accidents and personal injury on Illinois roadways, hundreds of accidents each year are due to the uncontrollable and often times unpredictable onset of rain and poor weather conditions. These conditions certainly do not make the physical aspect of driving any easier, and also affect the manner in which we drive, whether that is excessively timid or dangerously reckless. Therefore, we would like to offer all motorists some information about how rain can affect driving conditions and what steps you can take to remain safe behind the wheel when they occur.
As we all know, rain makes roads slick and slippery. Rain can make it more difficult to stay on a roadway, to stop, or to avoid colliding with other vehicles. The National Weather Service states that this is especially true when it first begins to rain because roads are most slippery at the beginning of a storm. In addition, rain reduces visibility and makes it difficult for drivers to see other vehicles, pedestrians, and street signs. When rain is combined with dirty water kicked up from the road by other drivers, windshields can quickly become dirty and make it even more difficult to see.
In these conditions, it is important to drive at a safe speed. Though this tip may seem obvious, many timid drivers who travel at unreasonably low speeds in the rain may back up traffic and increase the risk of rear end accidents, and reckless drivers who disregard the dangers that come with rain drive at high speeds and can also cause collisions. Driving at a moderately safe speed and keeping a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you can help increase your reaction times and will allow you to brake sooner if needed to avoid collisions. In regards to braking, refrain from braking too quickly; because the roads will be slippery, stopping your wheels too quickly may cause them to lose traction with the road and lead to skidding. If your vehicle does skid, remain calm and steer straight until you feel your vehicle regain traction.
Because poor weather conditions are something that every motorist will eventually have to face while driving, keeping these safety tips in mind will decrease the likelihood of an accident occurring and therefore reduce the risk of serious injury. If you have unfortunately been in an accident and suffered injury, medical expenses, or property damage due to the weather, be sure to contact your insurance company right away.
The accident above was a single vehicle accident in which no additional vehicles or motorists were involved, however multivehicle crashes occur daily as a result of reckless driving behaviors. In the case that you are involved in a collision as a result of a negligent motorist, seeking qualified representation is recommended. Our attorneys represent individuals and families who have suffered because of driver carelessness and may be able to assist you with your potential lawsuit.