When 80,000 pounds of steel slam into a vehicle one-twentieth of its size, the results are catastrophic. To be sure, the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration (NHTSA) reports that in a single year, there were nearly 4,000 people killed in large truck crashes across the United States, and more than 100,000 people injured.
Large truck accidents are almost always avoidable. Consider three of the following common causes of trucking accidents in Illinois:
1. Truck Driver Fatigue
Truck driver fatigue can be extremely dangerous – nearly as much, or even more so, than drunk driving. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, truck driver fatigue is a leading cause of truck accidents in the U.S. each year. While the federal government has taken steps to mitigate this problem by implementing strict hours of service requirements, many truck drivers still operate their vehicles without enough sleep. When a driver is fatigued, their reaction time may be significantly slowed, increasing the risk of an accident. In the worst of cases, the driver may actually doze off when behind the wheel.
2. Brake Problems
Another cause of trucking accidents is a problem with a vehicle’s parts, most commonly the brakes. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that the relative risk – factors that are present at the time of crash or that increase the risk of the vehicle being involved in a crash – of faulty brakes is 2.7, and faulty brakes were coded by the FMCSA 29 percent of the time in the Large Truck Crash Causation Study.
3. Poor Driver Decision
Poor decisions of the truck driver are a leading cause of truck accidents. Poor driver decisions include, but are not limited to, driving too fast for conditions, misjudging the speed of another vehicle, or following a vehicle too closely.
What to Do after a Truck Accident
While the three things above may be some of the most common causes of truck accidents, they are by no means the only ones; illegal lane changes, drinking while driving, improperly loaded or secured cargo, prescription drug use, congestion, and weather conditions are also all common contributing factors.
If you are in a crash in Illinois, the first things that you should do are to report the accident to the police, and to seek medical care for your injuries. If your losses are serious, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible, who can guide you through the process of filing a claim for damages.
Contact an Attorney Today
At Fisk & Monteleone LTD. our trucking accident attorneys know how devastating a truck accident can be. If you have questions about what might have caused your accident and who should be held liable for damages, contact our attorneys as soon as possible. With offices located in Rockford, Illinois, we are able to travel to your location for a free case consultation if you are unable to travel to ours. Call 815-209-9030 today to learn more.