Winter weather conditions in Illinois can increase the risk of an accident, with slippery roads requiring longer stopping distances. Even the shorter days can make it more difficult for drivers to see when driving to and from work. When these accidents involve a semi or tractor trailer, the damages can be more serious compared to a passenger vehicle.
This past December, icy conditions were partly to blame for a multi-vehicle accident near Troy, Illinois. On the ramp to Interstate 55 from Interstate 70, a tractor trailer jack-knifed on the icy on-ramp. Shortly after, another semi crashed into the overturned semi. An SUV and passenger vehicle were also involved in the accident.
The two truck drivers were both injured in the accident, with the driver of the first truck suffering serious injuries. The injuries may have been worse because the driver was trapped in the vehicle cab.
What Makes Tractor Trailers Dangerous
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 4,761 people killed in accidents involving large trucks in 2017. The number of fatal large truck accidents increased 12% over the prior decade. The majority of those killed were occupants of other vehicles (72%) compared to 18% of truck occupants and 10% of pedestrians, cyclists and other nonoccupants.
A large truck is defined as having a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds, though most of the trucks involved in accidents had a weight of higher than 26,000 pounds.
In Illinois alone, in 2017, there were 139 fatal accidents involving large trucks, which is almost 9% of fatal vehicle accidents in the state.
Truck Driver and Other Driver Errors
Truck drivers are often under a lot of pressure to deliver their payloads on time. This can result in taking caffeine pills to stay awake, operating on little sleep, or trucking companies that rush to overload or improperly balance payloads. Together with the icy winter conditions, this can increase the risk of an accident. On January 11, 2020, a semi-truck was involved in a rollover crash near Hull, Illinois. The driver reportedly lost control on an icy bridge. Traffic was blocked but there were no injuries reported.
Truck accidents are not always caused by the truck drivers. However, when a passenger vehicle and a semi-truck are involved in an accident, the passenger vehicle is more likely to suffer serious damage. A few weeks ago, near Sterling, Illinois, a young driver lost control of the vehicle on icy roads and slid under the tractor of a semi, trapping the vehicle underneath.
The semi-truck dragged the vehicle underneath, until the driver was able to come to a stop. Luckily, the passenger and driver of the vehicle were able to walk away from the accident without harm.
Illinois Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyer
Having the experience of a dedicated attorney on your side after an accident can make a big difference. Your lawyer will be able to deal with the insurance company, so you can focus on recovery. Your attorney can also negotiate to get you the maximum compensation. If you were involved in a tractor-trailer accident, contact an experienced Illinois personal injury lawyer with a track record of success. Contact the Cullotta Bravo Law Group today at (630) 898-7800 to schedule your free consultation.