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Posted on in Truck Accidents

Chicago Semi-Truck Accident Injury AttorneysA recent tragedy in the Chicago area reminded us of the constant dangers semi-truck drivers face every time they start a shift. On Tuesday, September 11th, a semi-truck crashed into a Lansing apartment building, injuring themselves and one resident. The accident occurred prior to 8:00 a.m. on Torrence Avenue, south of 184th Street. While the truck driver was not fatally injured in the accident, his injuries did require hospitalization.

The accident was the latest in a long line of semi-truck accidents. In 2016 alone, over 4,400 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal accidents throughout the United States. If you or a family member are involved in a motor vehicle collision, it is paramount to speak with a legal professional.

Semi-Truck Crashes Rising Nationwide

Despite mandated testing that all drivers must pass before operating a semi-truck, accidents involving semi-trucks continue to rise. According to the Department of Transportation, semi-truck fatalities have risen 29% since 2005. In 2016, the Department of Transportation found that there was a nearly 2% increase in semi-truck fatalities, in comparison to 2015.

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Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois truck accident lawyer,In January of 2014, two Ohio men were killed when a tractor trailer hitch failed and the 12-ton trailer the truck was hauling became detached. Both young fathers were traveling on the interstate when the trailer plowed into their vehicles. It took almost two years before the company that manufactured that trailer hitch finally admitted the trailer hitch was defective and issued a recall.

The Alabama company did not even begin investigating complaints about the hitch until 17 months after the fatal accident. According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the locking mechanism can erode over time and this causes the pin, which is supposed to lock the trailer and tractor together, to become loose. The company issued a recall for 6,800 hitches, which were sold to Daimler, Kenworth, Mack, Navistar, Kenworth, Peterbilt, and Volvo. The company stopped manufacturing this particular model in 2013.

One of the most common causes of truck accidents is defective equipment. National statistics show that 55 percent of trucks involved in accidents had at least one mechanical violation, and 30 percent of those vehicles had such damaged equipment prior to the accident, it should have been taken off the road immediately. The most common damaged or defective equipment were brakes, with 36 percent. Light systems failures came in as the second malfunction, with just under 20 percent.

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Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois truck accident lawyer,There is a bill currently sitting in the U.S. Senate that could have a significant impact on the number of tractor trailer accidents which occur on the nation’s roads. The Commercial Driver Act would allow establish a pilot program which allow interstate commercial driver’s license for 18 to 20 year olds.

The bill was filed in response to the nationwide shortage of commercial truck drivers. This shortage frequently results in overworked drivers, which often leads to tragic truck accidents. It is anticipated that shortage will continue to grow. Current shortage estimates are at 40,000 drivers, but with projected retirements and drivers leaving the industry, trucking companies will need to recruit 100,000 drivers every year over the next 10 years to keep up with demand.

All of the states have laws in place which allow people 18 years of age or older to obtain their commercial trucking license, however, the current federal law does not allow these drivers to travel over state lines unless they are 21 years or older.

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