• Strong Law

Deadly accidents with commercial trucks on the rise

Truck drivers face many risks while traveling on Illinois highways, and fatal crashes involving commercial vehicles weighing in excess of 10,000 pounds have increased according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The agency's 2015 report showed that 8 percent more trucks were involved in deadly wrecks compared to the previous year.

For every 100 million miles driven by large trucks, 1.45 fatal accidents occurred in 2015 compared to 1.34 in 2014. Out of approximately 415,000 accidents reported by police, 1 percent resulted in death, and 20 percent of crashes resulted in injuries.

The report stated that 3,996 drivers had an accident in which someone died. Fatalities included 667 people who occupied the truck cabins. These deaths represented a 2 percent increase over the previous year. Drivers accounted for 89 percent of those deaths. Most of the accidents included two vehicles at 64 percent of fatal crashes. Accidents involving pedestrians, nonmotorized vehicles and bicyclists accounted for 20 percent of the deaths.

Because of the size of commercial vehicles, semi truck accidents often result in death or serious injuries. Someone hurt in a crash with a big rig or the surviving family member of someone killed might want to discuss the accident with a personal injury attorney. After evaluating the circumstances of the crash, an attorney could look for evidence of negligence and then file a lawsuit for damages. Negligent acts might include speeding, truck driver fatigue, poor truck maintenance or inaccurate trucking logs. An attorney might also consult independent crash investigators to provide further indications as to how the accident occurred and what its causes were.

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