Today while one of one of our Illinois truck accidents lawyers was reading the news online, he brought to my attention another article regarding a fatal truck accident. It made me think about what happens when a passenger car slides into the path of an oncoming 18-wheeler. The results are not pretty. It's more likely than not that collisions with these big trucks are likely to be fatal or cause catastrophic injuries.
The size and weight disparity between an 18 wheeler (big rig) and a typical passenger car means that car drivers face considerably higher risks of serious injury or death upon impact. As an Illinois truck accident attorney, I recognize that in addition to the massive size of an 18-wheeler, several other contributing factors cause and lead big rig accidents including:
- Driver fatigue is the leading cause of many truck accidents. Drivers just by the nature of their profession are on the road for very long hours. They need to combat fatigue to make time and meet very tight delivery schedules. The typical truck driver is usually paid by the mile. The federal government implemented the Hour of Service rule to limit the amount of hours that a truck driver can spend on the road. The HOS regulation is in place which is a state and federal safety law limiting the amount of road time. Many drivers tend to not report or log all their driving records to circumvent state and federal safety laws limiting their road time. Excessive hours of driving can increase the chance of driver fatigue and falling asleep at the wheel. Excessive fatigue can also decrease a driver's reaction time on the road.
- Poor and negligent truck maintenance can lead to semi truck accidents. Commercial rigs and Semi-tractor trailers require experienced and knowledgeable mechanics. These mechanics need to be specialized for routine maintenance, repairs and inspections. Due to the amount of time many drivers spend on the road these inspections get delayed or neglected.
- Truck driver training is an important continuing aspect of this industry. These drivers of this heavy machinery require Intensive training. They also have requirements for special licensing. Drug testing is mandatory for every driver before a driver is qualified to be licensed to operate an 18-wheeler.
As a Chicago truck accident and injury attorney, I understand that the results of these big rig crashes can be catastrophic. Catastrophic injuries often involve injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, severe burns and extensive bone fractures. Injuries suffered from a catastrophic accident routinely require adaptations and modifications to the victim's lifestyle. Many victims suffer changes and alterations that impact the quality of their life. These could include changes in the victims housing and mode of transportation. Many victims require constant medical care. All these changes can add up to large sums of money.
Taking care of a catastrophic injury victim is a lifelong commitment for all involved. To be adequately compensated for these costs and future costs it is important to retain an experienced Illinois truck accident lawyer.