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Waukegan personal injury attorneysIf you drive on any major road on a regular basis, you have almost certainly encountered motorcycles. Some riders ride alone while others like to travel in groups of two or more. Unfortunately, there are certain riders who insist on riding recklessly, exceeding the speed limit, and weaving in and out of traffic. Such riders may be confident about what they are doing, but the reality is that this reckless driving of a motorcycle can and does lead to serious accidents causing injuries or death.  

In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of accidents involving motorcycles has been going up even as those involving all other motor vehicles have been going down. The CDC says the economic burden from motorcycle crash injuries and deaths in one year alone totaled more than $12 billion. Given the rise in the number of people using motorcycles, the CDC has sounded an alarm, calling this increase in motorcycle accidents a major public health concern, besides the associated economic loss.

Vulnerabilities of Motorcycles

The Illinois Division of Traffic Safety says of all motorized vehicles on the road, motorcycles are the most vulnerable because of their small size and weight compared to other motorized vehicles. Their small size also makes them vulnerable to being hit or run over by large trucks who do not see them as they ride in the truck’s blind spot.

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Waukegan personal injury attorneysDriving on any Illinois road exposes drivers to many dangers, among which is falling objects from trucks and other motor vehicles. Some of the products hauled in our streets daily include, construction materials, gravel, demolition debris, furniture, and many other kinds of cargo. It is not uncommon for some of these objects to become loose and fall off the trucks carrying them. It is therefore important to keep a safe distance and obey all other traffic rules to avoid these falling objects which can cause serious accidents or even death.

Federal and State Laws on Carrying Loads

Federal and Illinois state laws require drivers of flatbeds or any vehicle carrying a load to safely secure the load with devices that prevent the cargo from falling onto the roadway. The laws also prohibit tractor-trailers from being driven on any roads unless and until their cargo is safely secured and covered to prevent spillage or falling.

There are also laws that drivers and operators must follow governing transportation of hazardous materials to make sure these materials are not spilled or accidentally released. Spills involving hazardous materials can cause accidents leading to injuries and damage for those sharing the road and following behind.

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Waukegan truck accident lawyersAnyone who has driven a semi-truck for a living can tell you that it is not an easy job. Truck drivers are expected to drive extremely long distances and endure erratic sleep schedules. However, this is no excuse to drive unsafely. Fatigued truck drivers can make careless driving errors or even fall asleep at the wheel putting other motorists in life-threatening danger. If you were injured in an accident caused by a fatigued or otherwise negligent truck driver, you could be eligible for compensation.

Recent Study Highlights the Danger Fatigued Truck Drivers Pose

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently conducted an extensive study regarding truck accidents. According to their research, approximately 13 percent of serious traffic accidents involving large trucks are caused by a fatigued driver. When drivers are too sleepy, they can drift into other lanes without knowing it or even crash into other vehicles. Considering many truck drivers are operating vehicles that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, a truck accident can cause severe damage. Other causes of serious truck accidents include equipment failure, driver error, driver drug and medication use, and distracted driving.

Rules Regarding Truck Driver Rest

Fatigued and overworked truck drivers are a danger to themselves and everyone else on the road around them. Because of this risk, state and federal regulations dictate how often truck drivers must stop to rest as well as how many hours they can drive in a certain time period.

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Lake County personal injury attorneysWe have all, at one time or another, seen or heard about an aggressive driver putting everyone at risk of serious motor vehicle accident as they aggressively drive on the road, highway, and even on residential and city streets. These aggressive drivers seem have little or no regard for their own lives or those with whom they share the road. The response in Illinois, as in all states across the country, has been to pass stricter laws that address this problem of aggressive driving that has only gotten worse over the years.

What Is Reckless Driving?

Illinois law defines reckless driving as driving any vehicle with willful or wanton disregard of other persons or property, or causing a vehicle to be airborne by failure to obey slow down warning signs such as those on railway crossings. 

Examples of aggressive or reckless driving behavior include:

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Waukegan personal injury attorneysIt is not covered enough in the media, but fatigued driving is a major problem in Illinois and across the United States. The number of accidents and fatalities caused by fatigued driving is alarming. A drowsy or sleepy driver is as dangerous on the road as one who is under the influence of drugs and other controlled substances.

Reasons for Fatigued Driving

Fatigued driving usually occurs when a driver has not had enough sleep, but it also can happen when the driver has untreated sleep disorders, is taking medication, has alcohol in his or her body, or has worked long hours at work. For anyone who has experienced this, it is not easy to know the exact moment sleep takes over and you find yourself gone, albeit momentarily. Others may not be as lucky as falling asleep at the wheel can result in serious, even fatal accidents.

According to experts, it is not just falling asleep which is dangerous, your ability to drive safely is affected even if you are merely sleepy. As a result of being drowsy, a driver is prone to succumb to all manner of undesirables such as:

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