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Articles Posted in Truck accidents

The bill’s goal is to reduce the risk of injuries to people already involved in an accident and emergency personnel that are attending to the crash. There have been several cases where emergency personnel have been injured by careless drivers too engulfed in a phone conversation to notice an accident scene ahead of them. With this initiative the flashing lights of any kind of parked emergency vehicle will mean Illinois drivers must hang up their phones.

Whenever a careless driver causes an accident the victim should not have to pay for the damage suffered. If the driver is using a company telephone and is carrying out a business-related conversation, the driver’s employer may be vicariously liable for the driver’s negligence. It is important to know your legal rights. If you have been involved in an auto accident contact Chicago personal injury attorneys Zneimer & Zneimer P.C for a free personal injury consultation.

The legislation would make it illegal for drivers to make calls with a hand-held phone within 500 feet of an accident scene where emergency vehicles have flashing lights, except for reporting emergencies. It also bans sending picture and video messages while driving at any time. The last thing could be logical because sending messages implies drivers looking at the cell phone instead looking at the road.

Chicago Illinois is a major city, and like most large urban areas, tend to have a vast amount of auto accidents. Chicago’s Michigan Ave. seems to be a hot spot for, not just auto accidents, but accidents that involve personal injury.

A recent Chicago Sun-Times article highlights such accidents and injuries:

“Four people were critically injured in an auto accident on Michigan Avenue near Grant Park early Sunday.

Records compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that driver distraction is a significant factor in traffic crashes resulting in injury or death. The use of a cell phone while driving can increase the chances of becoming involved in a crash by 400 percent.

On January 1, 2010, two new traffic laws take effect in Illinois.

The first traffic law restricts drivers under the age of 19 (with an instruction permit or graduated license) from using a wireless or cellular phone while driving. This law law also prohibits the use of wireless telephones for all drivers, regardless of age, while operating a vehicle in a school zone or construction zone.

A semi truck accident that blocked the northbound lanes on I-55 for more than two hours on Tuesday morning may have been caused by driver fatigue. According to Illinois State Police, the driver of the truck lost control of his vehicle as he was crossing the Des Plaines River bridge in Channahon, Illinois. An initial investigation by Joliet District Illinois Police has determined that drowsiness caused the driver of the truck to lose control and crash. The driver was also cited for failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident and improper lane usage.

Driver fatigue significantly increases the risk of a truck driver being involved in an accident. A study conducted by a research team at Penn State found that the crash risk for truck drivers was more than three times higher in the last hour of an 11-hour day of driving than it was for the first hour. Reseachers also found that multi-day driving schedules (over seven days) were associated with significant crash risk increases.

A coalition of Consumer, Safety, and Labor groups has filed the initial legal brief in the third round of litigation which seeks to overturn longer truck diving and work hours which the Bush administration imposed in 2003. The hours-of -service rule increased the number of hours a trucker can drive to 11 consecutive hours each shift. In addition, the new Bush rules allow truckers to operate up to 17 more hours a week. Drivers can be on the road 77 hours a week instead of the 60 hours they were limited to under the old, pre-Bush rules. The Bush hours- of service rule also expands driving and work hours by reducing off-duty rest time at the end of the week from a full weekend (50 hours or more) to as little as 34 hours off-duty.

In April of 2008 a semitruck was speeding when it crashed into a Chicago train station. The accident killed two people and injured 21 more. Eleven people were critically wounded. Witnesses say the truck came off the freeway and hit a bus stop before slamming under a train overpass and then crashing up several steps of the train platform escalator.

While trucking accidents only account for one out of every nine traffic accidents as a whole, because of their size and weight, they account for 5,350 fatalities and 133,000 injuries (statistics from 2001). 94% of occupants of the cars and trucks in these accidents are either injured or killed. So as shown by the example of this accident a traffic accident involving a commercial truck can be much more dangerous than a car accident. Today there are over two million more trucks on the road than a decade ago which increases the likelihood of an accident.

There are many reasons why trucking accidents happen and why they are so much worse than the average traffic accident. Their freight can be one reason they are so dangerous. They may be carrying very heavy freight or it could be toxic/hazardous in some way. Truckers also work on deadlines. Like most people on a deadline they work faster to be sure they arrive on time which could result in an accident. Also truckers can get very tired from driving long periods of time. They get stressed and don’t pay enough attention to the road. Also large trucks have blind spots behind and to the sides of them so they can’t see other cars. The truck could also be overloaded. Plus there all the usual reasons for an accident like bad weather or mechanical failure.

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