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Why Tractor Trailer Accidents Happen

Posted on in Truck Accidents

Illinois personal injury attorney, Illinois truck accident lawyer, wrongful death,While many traditional American professions seem to be morphing or facing the challenges of adaptation to the 21st century, moving goods on land from one side of the country to the other doesn’t seem to be among these industries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of truck driving jobs is expected to grow by almost 200,000 between 2012 and 2022, a growth rate of 11 percent. As the economy continues to grow, the need for truck drivers grows as well. Most tractor trailer drivers drive for long hauls over thousands of miles and several days and are carrying a gross vehicle weight of over 26,000 pounds. The combination of driver fatigue and vehicle weight can make large tractor trailer trucks some of the most dangerous vehicles on the road. The increase in these numbers also signifies the potential increase in tractor trailer accidents, as well.

One of the most dangerous motor vehicle accidents involving a tractor trailer occurs when the trailer becomes unhitched from the truck. This most commonly happens due to an equipment malfunction in the truck itself, which in most cases will mean that the manufacturer of the equipment is liable for the accident. In other cases, it could mean that the trucking company is liable, if it did not perform the necessary safety checks. In Illinois, according to AAA, vehicles over 8,000 pounds (most definitely tractor trailers) or vehicles designed to carry 10 or more passengers (a school bus, for example), must submit to a safety inspection periodically and secure a certificate of safety furnished by the Illinois Department of Transportation. Failure to do so can result in penalties (such as license revocation), tickets, or fines.

Yet perhaps the added responsibilities of driving such a large vehicle tends to make drivers more responsible — according to National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration statistics, drivers of large trucks were less likely to have a previous license suspension or revocation than passenger car drivers. However,  the percentage of truck drivers who were involved in a fatal crash in 2012 who had been previously convicted of speeding was slightly higher (18 percent) than drivers of passenger cars who had been involved in fatal accident during the same time period (17 percent).

If you are involved in an accident with a large tractor-trailer truck — whether because of an equipment malfunction or driver negligence — you may be eligible for compensation. Do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced Lake County accident attorney today.

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