It is important to know that big rig drivers cause the majority of truck accidents on our nation’s highways. A 2006 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) report found that of the approximate 141,000 truck crashes occurring each year in the United States, about 77,000 are caused by driver error.
Look at the Facts:
Because the weight of a fully loaded tractor-trailer is 80,000 pounds, when one of these roadway monsters is involved in an accident with a passenger vehicle, the damage and injuries are often horrific. Consider the following Illinois tractor-trailer crash statistics for the year 2011:
- There were a total of 10,033 crashes involving tractor-trailers.
- These crashes accounted for only 3.6 percent of the total road accidents, but 9.7 percent of all fatal crashes.
- While the number of fatal crashes decreased by 3.6 percent in the past year, the Illinois Department of Transportation continues to try to reduce the number of severe truck accidents on our roadways.
It is our hope that, by understanding more about tractor-trailer crashes in Illinois, you will be less likely to become one of these frightening statistics.
Mistakes Commercial Truck Drivers Make in Accidents:
While no truck driver embarks on a long haul planning to cause an accident, there are many things that can go wrong. The 2006 FMCSA report provided some of the most common ways that big rig drivers cause mayhem on our highways:
- Prescription Drug Use: 26 percent of the total truck accidents were caused by the use of prescription drugs.
- Traveling Too Fast: Truckers caused another 23 percent of accidents by speeding while trying to make deadlines.
- Being Unfamiliar with the Roadways: 22 percent of truck accidents happened when drivers traveled roads they did not know.
- Use of Over-the-Counter Drugs: In 18 percent of the accidents, drivers were found to be using, or over-using, common everyday drugs found in every truck stop.
- Inadequate Surveillance: 14 percent of the accidents happened when drivers were unable to watch (or neglected to watch) carefully enough for other vehicles.
- Fatigue: Truck drivers pushed to their limits fell victim to fatigue 13 percent of the time they crashed.
- Illegal Maneuver: Making turns too sharply, performing unsafe lane changes, and other illegal maneuvers were responsible for another 9 percent of accidents.
- Exterior Distractions: About 8 percent of the time, truckers crashed because events, objects or people nearby distracted them.
- Inadequate Evasive Action: Another 7 percent of truck drivers were found to crash because they failed to take advantage of an opportunity to avoid an accident.
- Aggressive Driving: Finally, 7 percent of the accidents happened because drivers became too aggressive and neglected to remember the deadly nature of the vehicles they were operating.
If you or a loved one has been injured—or worse—in a Northern Illinois truck accident, you should contact an experienced Rockford truck accident attorney. At The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm, we offer each client a free consultation, personal attention and the kind of legal advice you need at this difficult time.
Call us today TOLL FREE at 888-716-7336. We provide our clients throughout Northern Illinois with personal, caring, and experienced service in handling their truck accident cases.