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How serious are truck accidents in Illinois?

The number of Illinois fatalities in accidents involving large trucks has steadily increased each year from 88 in 2009 to 142 in 2013.

Large commercial trucks can pose serious problems to Illinois residents. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration make this all too easy to see. The number of people who have died in large truck accidents between 2009 and 2013 increased steadily in that timeframe.

Specific details include the following:

  • In 2009, there were 911 total vehicular fatalities in Illinois. Of those, 88 involved large trucks.
  • In 2010, there were 927 total vehicular fatalities in Illinois. Of those, 112 involved large trucks.
  • In 2011, there were 918 total vehicular fatalities in Illinois. Of those, 122 involved large trucks.
  • In 2012, there were 956 total vehicular fatalities in Illinois. Of those, 122 involved large trucks.
  • In 2013, there were 991 total vehicular fatalities in Illinois. Of those, 142 involved large trucks.

These numbers should make everyone in Illinois nervous. To make matters worse, they do not reflect the number of truck accidents that caused injuries but no deaths so the reality of truck accident risks may be more severe than the fatality statistics show.

What factors cause truck accidents?

Just like other motor vehicle accidents, the causes of large truck collisions can vary greatly. However, there are some that are known to be more prevalent than others. Truck driver fatigue is one of those. It may have even been a contributing factor in a recent crash near East Hannibal along a stretch of Interstate 72.

According to Journal930.com, a truck driver has been cited for the improper use of a lane after crossing over into oncoming lanes and then eventually ending up in a ditch. Reports indicate that the citation also included driving while fatigued or ill.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association had hoped that a rule change in 2013 could have curbed fatigue among truck drivers. The rule changed when drivers must take breaks when on the road. However, it was met with some resistance which led Congress to issue a say according to JOC.com. Further research into the matter was ordered and that research is now being compiled into a full report.

Impaired operation is another issue that the FMCSA is addressing. The Commercial Carrier Journal provides details of a new pre-hire screening process to be implemented soon. It will include strict requirements for a review of driver records and substance testing. Any driving job applicant who refuses to take a substance test will not be allowed to drive in a commercial position.

More help is always needed

Victims of truck accidents cannot always look to the government to solve the daunting issue of truck safety. When accidents happen, the help of an experienced lawyer is needed.