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Truck Accident Fatality Statistics

Posted on in Truck Accidents

truck accident fatalityAny Chicago-area driver knows all too well that semi trucks and other large commercial vehicles are a common sight on Illinois roadways. Unfortunately, fatalities and injuries occurring from collisions with those trucks are also extremely common.

In a terrifying 2014 accident, an Illinois State Trooper was nearly killed when a semi truck crashed into the officer’s stationary vehicle at 63 miles per hour, exploding the gas tank setting the officer on fire. Though severely burned, the trooper survived, but others are not so lucky. Early this year, two Rockford University students were killed in an accident with a semi on I-90 in McHenry County in February. Another Chicago man was killed in February when his car collided with a semi on the Stevenson expressway in Hodgkins. Are all of these collisions a coincidence, or are semi trucks a real cause of highway accidents and fatalities?

Statistics

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 2012 that nearly 4,000 people were killed and over 100,000 injured in crashes involving large trucks. Large trucks are more likely to be involved in fatal multiple-vehicle accidents than passenger vehicles, as 81 percent of fatal crashes involving large trucks also involve multiple other vehicles.

In Illinois, there were 1,324 total fatal crashes in 2012 and nearly nine percent of those involved large trucks, accounting for three percent of the U.S. total of accident fatalities involving large trucks. Most of the fatalities in these crashes occur in the other vehicle passengers, largely because passenger vehicles are much smaller and lighter in weight than semi trucks. Passenger vehicle occupants have little to no protection from the heavier, larger vehicles, and are more likely to sustain catastrophic injuries in these accidents.

Causes of Semi Accidents

While all car collisions can have many causes, several factors are commonly present in semi truck accidents. Driver fatigue is a major source of truck accidents. Although trucking companies have instituted mandatory rest breaks for drivers, the fact remains that many drivers are paid by time and mileage completed, which may lead them to continue driving past the point of safety.

Other common causes of truck accidents include tire blowouts, failure to adjust speed to curves in the road, especially during on and off ramps, load shifting and type of load being carried, brake conditions, road surface conditions, and simple inattention, which includes both distracted driving and drowsy driving. All of these causes can lead to sudden direction changes, resulting in rollovers, unpredictable lane changes, or other erratic driving patterns that prevent other drivers from anticipating a truck’s movement.

One common car accident cause that does not appear to be a major factor is alcohol. The percentage of truck drivers involved in fatal accidents with BAC levels of over .08 was only two percent in 2012, compared to 23 percent for passenger cars, 22 percent for light trucks, and 27 percent for motorcycles.

What to Do If You Are Involved in an Accident

If you are involved in an accident with a large truck, first seek medical attention for any injuries you may have sustained. Next, you should consult an experienced Lake County personal injury attorney immediately to help you understand your rights. Do not hesitate to reach out to the experienced Illinois car accident attorneys at Salvi & Maher, L.L.C.. We can provide the representation you need and we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us at 847-662-3303 to schedule your free case consultation today.

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/congress-made-trucking-deadlier_us_56fd6f92e4b0a06d58052ee8

http://www.wifr.com/home/headlines/2-People-Killed-After-Car-Loses-Control-On-I-90-369047201.html

http://abc7chicago.com/news/man-killed-in-crash-on-ob-stevenson-near-la-grange/1216379/

http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811868.pdf

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/large-trucks/fatalityfacts/large-trucks

http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811617.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3256782/
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