Posted On: May 31, 2009

Illinois is 8th Most Dangerous State for Truck Accidents, Says Truck Safety Coalition

According to the Truck Safety Coalition Web site, Illinois ranks #8 as the most dangerous state for truck accidents. In 2007 alone there were 154 Illinois large truck accident deaths. With Illinois the home of 6,000 trucking companies, it is no wonder that large truck accidents pose a health hazard to our motorists. It doesn’t help that, according to the Truck Safety Coalition, 17% of the state's bridges are considered functionally obsolete or deficient in design and that 39% of the state’s biggest roads are not in the best condition.

Truck drivers are responsible for driving their large trucks safely. Unfortunately, even when the trucker drives with the best intentions regarding safety, large truck accidents still happen. For example, the trucker may fall asleep at the wheel due to driver fatigue, or there may be a defect with the truck or a truck part that causes the vehicle to malfunction. When incidents such as these happen, the consequences for the driver or for those around the vicinity of the large truck can be fatal.

That said, there are steps that other motorists can take to drive defensively when around large trucks that will hopefully prevent a deadly Illinois truck accident from happening:

• Don’t cut off a truck in attempt to get ahead of it, especially when you are driving in a single lane.
• If you are going to pass a truck, pass from your left and move onward as soon as possible and in as safe a manner as possible.
• Don’t tailgate a large truck.
• Make sure that the trucker can see you in his or her blind spot.

Illinois State Coalition Page, Truck Safety Coalition


Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

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Posted On: May 29, 2009

Chicago Truck Crash Law Firm: Recent US Large Truck Accidents Claim Lives

Injuries sustained in an Illinois large truck crash can be catastrophically life changing. This is why you need an experienced Chicago truck accident law firm protecting your right to financial recovery from all liable parties.

Just this week in the US, several large truck crashes caused serious injuries and deaths, including:

• A 19-year-old college student died on Tuesday after she was struck by a garbage truck near campus. Kaeli Sarah Kramer was pronounced dead at the crash site. A fellow classmate, Aresh Saquib, was hospitalized for his injuries. The driver of the garbage truck, Guillermo Vargas, was treated for emotional distress at the same hospital before being released.

• Yesterday, at least one person died in a head-on crash between a tractor-trailer and a car. The truck cab caught fire but the trucker was able to escape. The car involved in the deadly traffic crash with the large truck was crushed.

• On Wednesday morning, a 77-year-old woman sustained fatal injuries when she drove into the path of a dump truck that was pulling a trailer. The truck hit the driver-side door of the vehicle carrying Helen Irene Hawley before spinning out and jackknifing. Hawley died yesterday.

It is important that you do not try to settle your truck accident case with the other party’s insurer without speaking to an Illinois truck crash law firm first. There is so much involved when determining liability and there also may be more than one party that can be held liable for personal injury or wrongful death.

Injuries from a catastrophic truck accident may take years to recover from and will likely cost more than you think. Your Chicago truck accident lawyer will know how to make sure that you are compensated enough so that you have what you need to get better and more forward with your life.

Crash kills Capac woman, The Times Herald, May 29, 2009

At least one dead in crash between car, tractor-trailer, The Buffalo News, May 28, 2009

Student Killed in Garbage Truck Accident at FSC, Farmingdale Observer, May 28, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Truck Accidents Laws, Justia

Illinois Department of Transportation

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Posted On: May 27, 2009

Preventing Chicago Tractor-Trailer Accidents and Other Illinois Large Truck Collisions

Large Illinois truck crashes injure and kill too many people each year. In 2007 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that 1,710 motor vehicles were involved in deadly Illinois truck accidents—just 148 of those vehicles (8.7%) were large trucks.

While truck accidents can happen due to other motorists’ negligence, many large truck accidents occur because of negligence on the part of the trucker, a trucking company, or another affiliated party. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following recommendations that truck drivers can implement to prevent large truck accidents from happening including:

• Inspect your truck daily before taking it on the road.
• Make sure all maintenance work on your truck is up-to-date.
• Know how to operate your truck.
• Obey Illinois traffic laws.
• Don’t drive when you are exhausted.
• Take frequent breaks to walk and stretch.
• Don’t drive on soft shoulders.
• Inspect your semi-trailer’s breaks on a regular basis.
• Check your blind spots for vehicles.
• Honk your horn when backing up.
• Watch out for pedestrians.
• Know how to deal with the particular load you are transporting.
• Make sure you use wheel chocks when you are loading your trailer or truck.
• Don’t overload your truck.
• Activate the parking brakes when your truck is parked.
• Make sure that your load isn’t piled too high that it might strike bridges, power lines, and overpasses when you are on the road.
• Make sure that your trailer is properly secured to the towing vehicle.
• Properly secure all loads and load your trailer correctly, distributing the weight in a manner that will allow you to travel safely.

There may be more than one party that can be held liable for your Chicago truck accident. This is where an experienced Chicago, Illinois truck crash law firm can step in for you. If you’ve been injured in a tractor-trailer crash because a truck driver, a vehicle manufacturer, the shipping company, the trailer owner, the truck company, and/or another party was negligent, your Chicago personal injury attorney can gather all the evidence for you to prove your claims.

Truck Safety: Preventing Accidents with Trucks and Trailers, CDC

Related Web Resources:


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Posted On: May 22, 2009

Illinois Truck Accidents: Truck Safety Coalition Speaks Out Against Heavier Loads

Truck safety advocates don’t want tractor-trailers to be allowed to carry heavier loads on highways. This could happen if a new transportation bill currently making its way through the US Congress is approved. While at a news conference earlier this month, Joan Claybrook of the Truck Safety Coalition called this a “public health crisis.”

The group is among a number of safety advocates that are fighting the bill and want Congress to enact H.R. 1617 and S.779, a bi-partisan effort that would freeze the current tractor-trailer limits to a weight maximum of 80,000 pounds and a length maximum of 53-feet. The Truck Safety Coalition has also launched the Web site

However, the Coalition for Transportation Productivity, an industry group, thinks adding an axle to big rig trucks would make it safer for these large trucks to carry heavier loads because the weight would be more evenly distributed. An additional axle would give big rigs 22 wheels. They currently have 18 wheels. As it stands, not allowing trucks to carry bigger loads could result in more trucks having to get onto roads to meet the increasing cargo demand.

More 2007 Truck Accident Statistics:

• 4,808 truck accident fatalities
• 154 were Illinois truck accident deaths
• 83,908 truck accident injuries
• 802 truck drivers killed on the job
• There are approximately 3.5 million American truck drivers
• Double-trailers trucks are 32% more likely than single-trailer trucks to be involved in deadly traffic accidents; they are also 200% more likely to be involved in accidents on interstate highways
• At least 10% of trucks that are on US roads are illegally overweight
• Trucks that are too heavy are a major cause of damages to bridges and highways

Safety advocates fight push for bigger truck loads, CNN, May 4, 2009

Families of truck crash victims to turn “Sorrow to Strength” by launching, TruckSafety,org, May 4, 4009

Related Web Resources:

Truck Safety Coalition

Coalition for Transportation Productivity

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Posted On: May 20, 2009

Illinois Truck Accidents: Weighing the Benefits of Raising the Large Truck Speed Limit on Rural Interstates

Now that both the Illinois House and the Senate have approved legislation that would increase the semi-truck speed limit to 65 mph on rural interstates, it will be up to Governor Pat Quinn to decide whether to approve or veto the plan. This is not the first time legislation such as this has reached an Illinois Governor’s desk. Former Governor Rod Blagojevich vetoed legislation calling for the same mph maximum on three occasions because of what he said were safety concerns that could arise if large trucks were allowed to travel at the faster speed.

Preventing Illinois Truck Accidents
The question of whether or not it is safer or more dangerous to let trucks drive faster can result in different answers—depending on who you ask. Trucks that move at a fast pace tend to get their jobs done faster, which means that these vehicles don't have to spend as much time on the roads—possibly decreasing the chances of becoming involved in a large truck accident. Then again, the faster a truck goes, the more gas it spends, and its higher speed could also increase the chances the driver could become involved in a semi-truck accident. After all, excess speeding is often cited as a leading cause of large truck crashes.

A 2007 Forbes article cites The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as reporting that excess speed was the “critical precrash event” in 18% of all large truck crashes that were analyzed for a large truck causation study. A high-risk study conducted by the American Transportation Research Institute found that among truck drivers convicted of speeding at least 15mph above the legal speed limit, 56% of these truckers ended up being involved in a large truck accident the following year.

In the recent years, the ATA had recommended to the FMCSA that engine governors be installed in large trucks to make sure that trucks don’t go over a 68 mph speed limit. The ATA has said this could decrease truck accident deaths by up to 10%.

Semis going 65? It's up to Gov. Quinn,, May 18, 2009

Truck Speed--Too Fast, Too Slow?,, March 6, 2007

Related Web Resources:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

American Transportation Research Institute

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Posted On: May 15, 2009

Illinois Truck Accident Lawsuit Seeks Injury Damages After Young Daughter Gets Trapped Between Two Tractor-Trailers

The mother of a young girl is suing two trucking companies for injuries to a minor sustained during an Illinois tractor-trailer crash. According to the personal injury complaint filed by Dusty McPherson, Brittany Ferris was riding in a 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix driven by Robert J. Ferris Jr. on Interstate 255 on August 17, 2007 when the vehicle struck a tractor-trailer belonging to Trinity Logistics Group that was parked on the side of the road. Ferris’s vehicle was then hit by a Wood Haulers-owned tractor-trailer operated by truck driver Don Leo Dye.

The defendants in the Illinois truck accident lawsuit are Ferris, Dye, and the two trucking companies. Brittany’s mother contends that as a result of the collision, her daughter continues to experience suffering, pain, disfigurement, disability, emotional trauma, and the possibility of future harm. Her injuries have also resulted in medical expenses and loss of future income. McPherson says she is the one responsible for her daughter’s medical bills.

She is accusing Robert Ferris Jr. of improper lane use, neglecting to keep a proper lookout, and failing to keep his car on the road and under control, driving the car when it wasn’t safe, and neglecting to exercise ordinary care to avoid becoming involved in the multi-vehicle crash.

McPherson’s Illinois truck crash complaint is holding Trinity Logistics Group liable for her daughter’s injuries because one of its truck drivers parked the vehicle on the side of the road even though it was unnecessary, neglected to use ordinary care to ensure other people’s safety, the truck wasn’t carrying at least three liquid burning flames that would have allowed drivers to see the vehicle from at least 500 feet, and the vehicle was parked too close to ongoing traffic.

She is accusing truck driver Dye of driving too fast and failing to slow down, neglecting to properly control his truck, neglecting to maintain a proper look out, improper lane use, and failing to use ordinary care to prevent an Illinois truck crash. McPherson is suing Woods Hauler because Dye was work for the trucking company when his truck struck the car that her daughter was riding in.

Illinois Truck Accident Claims
Proving liability for an Illinois truck crash can be tough. This is why it is so important that you contact an experienced Chicago truck accident law firm right that can get an investigator to the truck crash site right away to examine the accident evidence. There are also likely truck maintenance records and the trucker’s logbook to examine. A good truck crash lawyer will know what to look for to prove that the trucker or trucking company was negligent.

Passenger sandwiched between tractor trailers sues, The Record, May 14, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Trucking Accidents, NOLO

Illinois Department of Transportation

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Posted On: May 13, 2009

Chicago Truck Accident Law Firm: Bad Economy Causes Unemployed, Inexperienced Workers to Seek Work As Long-Term Truck Drivers

The massive number of layoffs spurred by the bad economy is causing some unemployed workers to apply for jobs as long-haul truckers. The influx of new truck drivers bodes well for the US trucking industry, which has long had a shortage of truckers. There are tens of thousands of truck driver jobs that are still waiting to be filled.

Firstfleet Inc. fleet manager Tom Davis told that job inquiries have gone up by 40% to 50% since November. Many laid-off professionals from different socioeconomic backgrounds, including lawyers and doctors, are now taking truck driver training class so they can get certified and earn their commercial trucker driver’s license.

According to American Truck Association president and chief executive Bill Graves, this influx of new blood is good for the industry, which has experienced setbacks because of the economic recession. Avondale Partners says that 3,065 trucking companies went belly up in 2008.

Truck Driver Inexperience
Just because a person takes a training course and gets their commercial trucking license doesn’t mean they know how to safely drive a truck. As with any kind of driving, it takes time and hours logged on the road behind the wheel of a vehicle for a trucker to develop the experience necessary to know how to safely navigate through different situations while operating an 18-wheeler truck, a semi-truck, a semi-trailer truck, a tractor-trailer, or any other large truck. Even experienced drivers run the risk of making mistakes.

A large-sized truck can be a dangerous vehicle to have in the hands of an inexperienced truck driver. The personal injuries that can result because a truck driver didn’t know how to prevent a Chicago truck accident from happening can be catastrophic.

Regardless of whether the truck driver was a new trucker or an experienced driver, as an Illinois truck accident victim you may be entitled to personal injury compensation if his or her negligence caused your truck collision.

Downturn puts trucking firms in driver’s seat, MSNBC, March 24, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Driver-related Regulations, FMCSA

Truck Driving Schools

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Posted On: May 7, 2009

Preventing Chicago Truck Accidents: FMCSA Hours of Service for Truckers

There are approximately 3.5 million truck drivers in the United States. Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s hours of service:

• Truck drivers can only drive for up to 11 hours at time.

• They can operate a truck for no more than 14 hours a day.

• Truck drivers have to spent 10 hours resting in between their shifts before they can drive again.

• Truckers cannot drive a truck if they’ve worked over 60 hours in a week.

• Drivers that spend at least 34 hours resting can reset their work schedule for the week.

Most truckers who operate a commercial motor vehicle have to abide by these rules.

A truck driver who falls asleep or can’t focus on the road can be a dangerous person to come up against in a Chicago truck collision—especially if the truck that the trucker is operating is a semi-truck, and 18-wheeler truck, a tractor-trailer, or another large truck. Unfortunately, driving long hours can make truck drivers who are tired more prone to falling asleep behind the wheel and even the most dedicated and experienced truck driver can become a liable driver if someone gets hurt or dies because the trucker accidentally causes a catastrophic large truck crash.

If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a Chicago truck crash, it is important that you retain the services of a Chicago truck accident law firm that has a successful track record when it comes to helping truck accident victims recover their losses.

Steps that truck drivers can take to avoid drowsy driving:

• Get plenty of rest.

• Take regular brakes.

• Don’t drink before driving.

• Make sure that you aren’t taking medications that can make you drowsy.

• Get tested to make sure that you don’t suffer from sleep apnea or another kind of sleeping disorder.

Final Rule, Hours of Service, FMCSA November 19, 2008 (PDF)

Related Web Resources:
Drowsing Driving,

Obesity Linked to Dangerous Sleep Apnea in Truck Drivers, Science Daily, March 12, 2009

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Posted On: May 4, 2009

Preventing US Truck Accidents: New Federal Bill Tries to Decrease Truck Collisions by Offering Trucking Companies Tax Incentives to Install Safety Devices

A new federal bill is offering truck drivers tax incentives in exchange for installing safety devices that could decrease the number of deadly truck accidents. The bill comes in the wake of the deadly California large truck accident in La Canada Flintridge on April 1 that claimed the lives of a father and daughter.

The bill would give an up to $3,500/truck tax deduction (at $350,00 maximum) to trucking companies if they buy and use updatable GPS equipment that include rule changes and new road closures, warning systems that let truck drivers know when their trucks have moved out of a lane, and automated systems that shut down trucks when the vehicle’s brake system is overloaded. The tax credit would be valid through 2014 before expiring. American Trucking Association spokesperson Clayton Boyce says truck companies would support the bill, introduced by California Rep David Dreier, especially as it won’t cost truck companies additional expenses.

Dreier co-sponsored the Commercial Motor Vehicle Advanced Safety Technology Tax Act of 2009, also known as HR 2024. The bill recognizes that there are technologies that exist that can increase safety on US roads, including collision warnings, brake stroke monitoring, vehicle stability systems, and lane departure warnings. The tax incentives could be beneficial to most trucking companies, 95% of which are small businesses that own no more than 20 trucks. Dreier also sent letters to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration spurring both federal agencies to increase efforts to study how effectively truck navigation devices work in terms of improving safety on US roads.

Large truck crashes can be fatal for those involved. It is the responsibility of truck drivers and trucking companies and the federal agencies that regulate truck safety to make sure that they do everything they can to minimize the number of trucking collisions that occur in Illinois and other US states.

Many trucking companies are experienced in limiting liability when one of their drivers causes a deadly truck collision and they may try to get you to settle immediately. It is important that you speak with an lllinois truck crash lawyer first before you settle.

Federal proposal offers incentives to increase truck safety, Pasadena Star, April 1, 2009

Dreier Seeks to Strengthen Technology Resources for Trucking Industry, Congressman David Dreier, April 23, 2009

Related Web Resources:
HR 2024 Summary (PDF)

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

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