Passing other vehicles on the highway may seem like a simple maneuver, but there’s a high risk of crashing if you don’t perform the pass correctly. Any freeway crash can be serious, but when we consider the size and weight of trucks, the risk of severe – or fatal – injuries is too significant to overlook.
Our truck crash attorneys understand how serious any heavy vehicle crash can be. To help you stay safe on our roadways, here are some best practices for passing trucks on freeways and what steps to take if you’re involved in a heavy vehicle accident.
Truck Accidents in IL
Truck accidents are common in the US. And, worryingly, so are fatalities.
- In 2021, the US experienced 5,788 truck crash fatalities.
- In 2022, there were 193 fatal truck accidents in IL.
- Fatalities are often the occupants of other vehicles or other road users.
Common causes of truck crashes include speeding, reckless driving, fatigue, and failure to check blind spots.
Truck Accident Injuries
As with any road crash, there’s no limit to the type of injuries a victim might sustain. However, in heavy vehicle crashes, the most common injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Head trauma
- Internal bleeding
- Neck, brain, or spine damage
- Paralysis/nerve damage
- Soft tissue injuries, e.g., torn muscles
While some injuries resolve in a few days, others, such as nerve damage, could be permanent.
Passing Trucks on the Freeway
You might want to pass a truck on a freeway at various times. For example, you might consider passing trucks if it’s slow-moving or they’re “sandwiched” between multiple trucks, and they want a clear roadway.
Passing trucks is perfectly legal, so long as you follow the Illinois Vehicle Code. While every scenario is different, here are some good – and bad – practices for overtaking trucks.
- Do exercise caution. Stay a safe distance away before overtaking the truck so the driver has time to anticipate your movements.
- Don’t stay in the driver’s blind spot for long. Truck drivers can’t see you in this spot, so that they could collide with your vehicle.
- Do pass in the left lane. It’s the easiest and safest lane to pass in, and it’s where a driver might expect a pass to come from.
- Don’t speed to overtake a slow truck. You must still drive safely and within road limits.
- Do let one car pass at a time. Following closely behind another vehicle increases the chance of a collision and keeps you lingering in the trucker’s blind spot.
- Don’t drive distracted. Give the passing maneuver your total concentration. Otherwise, you won’t have time to react to a sudden change in road conditions.
What if I’m in a Truck Accident on the Freeway?
If you’re unfortunate enough to be in a truck crash on the freeway, you must know what to do. While you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible, here are other necessary steps you should take following the accident.
- Call 911 to report the crash and get medical help if necessary.
- Exchange insurance details with the other driver(s) involved.
- Even if you don’t need emergency medical care, visit the ER or your own doctor. Some injuries, such as head trauma, develop slowly over time and must be treated promptly.
- Take pictures or videos of the crash scene, including injuries, road conditions, and property damage.
- Identify witnesses, if possible, and obtain their contact details.
- Contact your insurance company. Stick to the facts and don’t say anything which may be interpreted as admitting fault.
Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers in Aurora and Naperville IL
If you’re injured in a truck crash in IL, call Cullotta Bravo Law. We understand how complicated the claims process can be and are here to guide you through it. Our experienced truck accident attorneys will determine if you have a case, explain your legal rights, and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Even if you’re partly to blame for the crash, don’t let this deter you from seeking legal advice. You’re entitled to explore your options and discover whether you have a compensation claim. For a free consultation to discuss your case, call 620-898-7800 or contact us online.