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Articles Tagged with Truck accidents

car-accident-1660670_1920-300x300As Illinois moves into phase 3 of COVID-19 reopening, traffic is making a big comeback. You may have noticed that the roads are more crowded, the parking lots are a bit fuller, and the expressways feel more like they did in January and February.

If you’ve noticed an uptick in traffic, you’re not alone. Congestion, higher travel times, and traffic crashes are on the rise as Illinois resumes activities under phase 3 of the Illinois reopening plan.

After the state-wide stay-at-home order took effect in mid-March, weekly traffic volume in Chicago was cut in half. As of last week, traffic was back to 77% of 2019 levels, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

white-volvo-semi-truck-on-side-of-road-2199293-1024x684In response to the nationwide COVID-19 outbreak, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued an emergency declaration on March 13, 2020, increasing the hours commercial vehicle drivers can be on the road without taking a break and providing certain other relief for these drivers transporting emergency relief items.  The emergency declaration was expanded on April 8, 2020, and will remain in effect at least through May 15, 2020.

The FMCSA is an agency of the federal government responsible for regulating and providing oversight of commercial motor vehicles in order to reduce injuries, crashes, and deaths involving large trucks and buses.  These vehicles typically exceed 10,000 pounds.

Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (Regulations), a commercial motor vehicle driver is only allowed to drive a total of 11 hours during a period of 14 consecutive hours and cannot drive after the end of the 14 consecutive hour period without first taking 10 consecutive hours off.  These restrictions are in place to enhance the safety of the driver and other motorists on the road by making sure drivers are getting adequate rest before operating these large vehicles.  Fatigue is a major factor linked to commercial vehicle accidents.  Fatigued drivers are increasingly likely to suffer a loss of attentiveness, slower reaction times, impaired judgment, and a likelihood of falling asleep.

walking-4555769_1920-225x300From the time they begin walking, children are in danger of being injured as pedestrians. According to some very sad statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2016, one in five children under the age of 15 killed in traffic accidents was a pedestrian. Children are less experienced with road safety, less aware of the danger that cars pose, more impulsive, and harder for drivers to see. Too many children are injured or killed every year by distracted, intoxicated, speeding, or negligent drivers. When that happens, families are left reeling, devastated by the aftermath– physical, emotional, and financial—of these tragic accidents.

Adults can help protect children by being aware of the scenarios that are especially dangerous for children and by knowing what to do after a child has been struck by a car or truck. The child pedestrian accident attorneys at The Collins Law Firm can guide you through the legal process after an accident with care and compassion. Knowing the most common situations that lead to pedestrian accidents can help prevent them in the first place.

How do Children Get Injured in Pedestrian Accidents?

transportation-system-3179313_1920-300x200Some of the scariest moments on the road occur when a tractor-trailer suddenly decides to pull into your lane, oblivious to the fact that you are in the way, or turns in front of you, unaware that your car is there. At that moment, you realize that the truck is not going to stop because they can’t see you. Usually, you are able to slow down or move into another lane to avoid injury, but for some motorists this situation becomes deadly.

Side underride collisions happen when a car crashes into the side of a tractor-trailer, and the force of the crash propels the car underneath the truck. These kinds of truck accidents are especially dangerous because the truck can sheer off the top of the car and kill the occupants. Usually, these side underride collisions occur at night, when a truck is trying to cross or turn onto a street or highway. But they can also occur when a truck suddenly moves into a different lane, trapping a car under the body of the truck. Unfortunately, these side underride accidents–where a car ends up wedged underneath a truck– can be deadly even at low speeds.

In fact, several hundred people die each year when their cars lodge under tractor-trailers from the side, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. This is unacceptable, especially when you realize that most of these accidents could be avoided if trucks were equipped with side guards: panels placed around the lower part of a truck’s trailer. Side guards would prevent cars from sliding under the body of the truck, protecting the driver and passengers. So why aren’t trucks equipped with these potentially life-saving side guards? Because the government, so far, has not required it.

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