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Articles Posted in Truck accidents

The Chicago Trucking Accident Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. take note of the ongoing debate over Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) Hour-of-Service regulations. In understanding where we stand now, it may be helpful to first understand a bit regarding the origination of these rules, and how they have developed over the past 8 decades.

In recognizing the correlation between driver fatigue and accident causation, the federal government first began limiting the number of daily and week hours, as well as rest period requirements in the 1930s. Over the next several decades, some revisions were made to the hours-of-service regulations, but many argued that such changes were ineffective in combating the issue of fatigued driving. It was not until recently—first in 2003, and then again in 2005—that any substantial changes to HOS rules were made.

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The Chicago Trucking Accident attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. take note of a recent incident between a semi-tractor trailer and a passenger vehicle. According to reports, a minivan became embedded behind a semi-truck, and was subsequently dragged for miles, apparently due to the trucker’s complete and utter obliviousness of the fact that a collision had occurred.

As depicted in a highly disturbing 911 call, a minivan struck the rear-end of a semi-truck, as both vehicles northbound in white-out conditions, along I-75 in Michigan. In the van was a family of four—the husband-driver, his wife, and their two small children. In calls to 911, the wife states “We ran into the back of a semi-truck and he’s not stoppin’, and our car is embedded underneath of it,” followed by the husband stating “If the van breaks out from underneath him, I don’t have any control of this thing.”

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Statistical data demonstrates that the drivers of passenger cars and other motor vehicles, as opposed to truck drivers, are more commonly identified as the cause of trucking collisions. In addition, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, passenger car occupants are nearly four times more likely than truckers to suffer fatality in such collisions. Consequently, the Truck Accident Injury & Fatality Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. find it beneficial to remind motorists of the dangers of sharing roadways with semi-tractor trailers, and more importantly the appropriate safety precautions to take.

While ideally it would be best if motorists could completely steer clear of big-rigs, we know this is nearly impossible. However, by understanding the manners in which truck accidents often occur, motorists are that share the roadway with these massive vehicles are better able to protect themselves from accident, injury, and fatality.

Tip #1 — Beware of Truckers that are Tailgating

The Trucking Accident Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. take note of a recent investigation, as provided in a broadcast on ABC’s 20/20 regarding the deadly consequences of fatigued drivers, and the manner in which trucking companies contribute to these dangers through their negligent and unlawful practices.

As ABC’s Matt Gutman points out, “In 2012 alone there were over 300,000 large-truck crashed, with over 4,000 fatalities…the industry points out that truckers are not usually at fault in these accidents-but police do warn of a particular danger-tired truckers. While in some cases, it is the truck driver’s themselves that engage in risky behaviors, such as driving while fatigued, speeding or tailgating-in other cases, it is the trucker’s employer/trucking companies that are encouraging/supporting such recklessness. Consider both Truck Driver Negligence as well as Employer/Truck Industry Actions, as you view the following clip from the above-referenced ABC special:


As Trucking Accident Attorneys, we are well aware of the hazards faced by motorists who are forced to share our roadways with truck drivers that operate semi-tractor trailers. Big-rigs are massive, heavy, dangerous vehicles, capable of mass destruction, as was demonstrated by a tragic accident last month that took the lives of five innocent victims. Zneimer & Zneimer P.C., along with the victim’s family, and residents of our community are pleased to see justice being carried out, at least in the criminal sense, following reports of the truck driver’s indictment for reckless homicide.

As provided by the Chicago Tribune, the crash occurred on the afternoon of July 21, 2014, along Interstate 55, south of Arsenal Road, near Elwood. According to authorities, 51-year-old Francisco Espinal Quiroz was operating a semi-truck, when he crashed into three stopped vehicles. Heartbreakingly, four people were killed immediately due to the crash, and fifth victim died later at the hospital.

Amongst the victims killed as a result of the truck driver’s negligence was an 11-year-old child, Piper Britton, of Urbana. The remaining victims, all adults, were 43-year-ol Kimberly Britton, of Urbana; 54-year-old Vicky Palacios, of Coal City; 48-year-old Ulrike Blopleh, of Channahon; and 64-year-old Timothy Osburn, also of Channahon. In addition to the five fatalities, four other victims were hospitalized due to injuries sustained in the crash.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports an Illinois truck driver named Renato V. Velasquez has been criminally charged with operating a commercial motor vehicle while impaired or fatigued, making a false report of record and duty status, and driving beyond the 14 and 11 hour rules, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and failure to yield to a stationary emergency vehicle.

Illinois State police Police allege Mr. Velasquez, the trucker, had been on the road driving for more that 36 hours when his truck crashed into emergency vehicles that had been stopped on the right hand lane and shoulder on I-88 near Aurora. The vehicles had been were helping with a broken down semi. Vincent Petrella, an Illinois Tollway worker who was on the scene helping out was killed and Illinois state trooper, Douglas J. Bader was critically injured. The 36 hours that Mr. Velasquez was driving far exceeded the federal time limits a truck driver is allowed to spend behind the wheel at one time. Truck driver’s shifts are limited to 14 hours with only 11 hours actually on the road under federal rules.

According to a Chicago Tribune story entitled “Did trucking rules fail?” that appeared on January 30, 2014, the United States government has tried for years to require that drivers use electronic logbooks which are harder to falsify than paper logbooks. Velazquez is accused of falsifying his paper log book.

As reported by CBS Chicago, “One person was killed in a multi-vehicle accident after a school bus with nearly three dozen students on board collided with two other vehicles near north suburban Wadsworth.” Preliminary investigations revealed that the accident may have been caused because the school bus driver ran a red light, however as reported by the Chicago Tribune on April 30, 2013, Lake County prosecutors will not be pressing charges. Tragically, the driver of the motor vehicle which the school bus collided with suffered fatal injuries. According to the Chicago Tribune, the Lake County Coroner’s Office found evidence of prescription drugs in the deceased’s system, however the Coroner’s Office did not report which drug this may have been.
Although dozens of children were injured as a result of this accident, none of the injuries were reported to be life threatening. The bus accident attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C., recognize that the severe nature of this accident, in which a school bus carrying 34 children rolled over on its side, presented circumstance that could have potentially resulted in numerous deaths. Fortunately, this was not the case. Our team of injury and accident attorneys support Chicago parents who demand the safeguarding of their children as they are placed in the hands of school bus drivers each day. If your child was injured or killed as a result of a negligent bus driver or other motorist, it is imperative that you protect your legal rights. Contact a licensed Illinois bus accident attorney today for a free personal injury consultation at (773) 516-4100, or through our website at www.zneimerlaw.com.

The Chicago trucking accident attorneys of Zneimer &Zneimer, P.C. take note that accidents involving massive equipment such as heavy trucks and tractor trailers have become a commonplace. Increasingly, such accidents are found to be the result of a truck driver’s violation of federal regulation concerning, as was the case in the accident discussed herein.

On March 21, 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), pursuant to the Federal Regulations, and through the delegation of authority provided to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), issued an “Imminent Hazard Operations Out-Of-Service Order” to Highway Star, Inc. commanding that all operations cease immediately.

The Chicago trucking accident attorneys of Zneimer &Zneimer, P.C. take note that accidents involving massive equipment such as heavy trucks and tractor trailers have become a commonplace. Increasingly, such accidents are found to be the result of a truck driver’s violation of federal regulation concerning, as was the case in the accident discussed herein.

The Chicago car accident lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer became aware that three people were injured early Saturday in an accident that involved a car and two taxicabs at a busy intersection in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.

The accident occurred two hours after midnight when a Ford Crown Victoria taxicab, which was going southbound on Halsted Avenue, intending to make a left turn onto Fullerton Avenue. As it was making the left turn, a Subaru that as westbound on Fullerton Avenue hit the taxicab, veering it off and striking a Toyota Camry taxicab, which was behind the Ford and was waiting to make a left rurn as well. .

The Ford taxicab had two passengers, a 23-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman, who were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago with non-life threatening injuries. The Subaru driver, a 22-year-old man, was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical in a sable condition. The driver of the Ford taxicab was cited for failure to yield while making a left turn.

The Chicago truck accident lawyers at Zneimer & Zneimer p.c. report that two people were critically injured in Alsip, Illinois on Saturday, January 12 when a passenger car rear-ended a semi truck. The crash happened at 6 a.m. when the Ford Taurus of one of the victims became stuck under the semi truck . The driver of the Taurus and his passenger had to be extricated from their car and were by emergency personnel and taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn and were listed in critical condition.

According to the truck driver who was from McAllen, Texas, the truck driver had just begun a left turn when he felt something strike his trailer.

The Illinois Department of Transportation reminds drivers to be extra careful around trucks and to be aware that trucks have blind spots. The IDOT urges drivers to remember:

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