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According to statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the number of large trucks involved in crashes where at least one person needed immediate medical attention or a vehicle had to be towed away because of “disabling damage” has decreased nationally in the years since 2005. However, the number of those types of crashes has risen in the state of Illinois.

With more than 8,000 serious crashes in the state in 2008, the most recent year for which data is available, highway safety is a concern for Illinois drivers. The Illinois Department of Transportation reports that, in 2008, 94,021 people were injured and 1,043 people died in accidents.

Semi-trucks or tractor-trailer crashes are a particular concern because of the increased potential for serious and catastrophic injuries. In 2008 there were 14,632 crashes involving trucks in Illinois. Fatal truck accidents accounted for 10.5 percent of all fatal crashes in the state, with 115 deaths resulting from trucking accidents.

While crashes involving trucks do not constitute the majority of accidents that occur on Illinois roads, the speed and relative size of trucks are more likely to cause serious and life-threatening injuries when involved in an accident, such as:

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Nerve damage
  • Fractures, dislocations and lacerations
  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ damage, especially to the kidneys, liver and lungs
  • Traumatic brain injury

Safety Tips for Car and Truck Drivers

Illinois motorists can improve safety on our roads by understanding simple guidelines that are meant to prevent serious Illinois truck accidents. The following are some basic tips to help ensure safety for all drivers:

  • Be alert of blind spots around trucks. If you cannot see a truck’s side mirrors, the driver cannot see you.
  • Do not attempt to pass a truck on the right when it is beginning a right turn.
  • Do not cut in front of a truck; trucks require much more distance to stop than cars.
  • Give trucks more room in wet conditions or at high speeds.
  • Get plenty of rest before long periods of driving.
  • Slow down in work zones.
  • Inspect and maintain your vehicle, especially the brakes.
  • Avoid aggressive and distracted driving.
  • Fasten your seatbelt.

If you or a loved one is injured or killed in a truck crash, seek the advice of an experienced motor vehicle accident and personal injury lawyer to work toward securing proper medical treatment and protecting your rights.

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