Driving is an inherently dangerous activity, and even though most vehicles provide safety features designed to protect drivers and passengers, anyone who uses the road is at risk of being injured in a car accident. This danger becomes much more likely in truck accidents, since even the safest vehicle is outmatched by the massive size and weight of a semi-trailer truck.
Causes of Truck Crashes
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were 4,050 trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available, and around 87,000 trucks were involved in crashes resulting in injury. While the number of fatalities and injuries in truck accidents decreased throughout the 2000s, they have seen a significant increase in recent years.
Since tractor-trailer trucks are so much larger than other vehicles, their operators must take extra care when driving in order to protect the safety of everyone on the road. Unfortunately, failure to meet safety requirements can have devastating results. Some of the most common reasons for truck accidents include:
- Equipment problems – Accidents can result from brake failure, tire blowouts, defective steering systems, engine failure, defective or improper lighting, improperly secured or shifting loads, or improperly attached trailers. These issues often occur when a vehicle is not properly maintained.
- Driver fatigue – Driving while drowsy can lead to slow reaction times, which can have fatal results. Truck drivers who are on the road more than eight hours are twice as likely to be involved in an accident. Unfortunately, truck drivers are often pressured to drive for longer hours than is safe, and the use of illicit, prescription, or over-the-counter drugs can also affect their ability to operate their vehicle safely.
- Driver error – The most common errors that truck drivers commit which lead to accidents include speeding, following other vehicles too closely, driving aggressively, drifting out of their lane, and overcompensating when steering away from obstacles or other vehicles. Distracted driving, in which truck drivers take their attention off the road to check their cell phone or operate their radio, is also a common cause of accidents.
- Road conditions – Inclement weather can reduce a truck driver’s visibility and maneuverability, and road maintenance issues can also affect their ability to operate their vehicle safely. A truck driver’s failure to account for these conditions can result in deadly accidents.
Contact a Chicago Truck Accident Attorney
If you or a family member have been injured in an accident involving a large truck, the attorneys at Pullano & Siporin can help you recover the compensation you need to address your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. We will investigate the circumstances of your crash and obtain the evidence we need to establish liability, ensuring that you will be able to receive the compensation you deserve. Contact our Cook County personal injury lawyers at 312-551-1100 to schedule a free consultation.