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IL truck accident lawyerTruck drivers spend the majority of their working hours traveling on America’s highways. In many cases, truckers are also responsible for loading and unloading the cargo they are hauling. In certain situations, a trucking company may try to fit the maximum amount of goods on a semi-truck, even if it means the truck will be over the weight limit. However, oversized loads can increase the chances of a truck accident for various reasons. This puts the truck driver as well as other motorists on the road in danger of serious injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 72 percent of people killed in large-truck crashes were passengers of other vehicles in 2017. Truck drivers or their employers can be held liable for causing a collision if the truck is overloaded.

Increased Truck Crash Risk

Large trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, much more than their automobile counterparts. Therefore, 18-wheelers and commercial trucks that collide with smaller motor vehicles, such as cars and motorcycles, have the potential to cause catastrophic injuries.

Truck crashes often take place when a truck has to make a sharp turn, like on/off ramps or intersections. Massive loads can cause rollover accidents since truckers may fail to distribute the weight evenly in the cargo bed. A few of the ways an overpacked or oversized truckload can increase the likelihood of an accident include the following:

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IL accident lawyerAnyone who watches the news knows that our nation’s roadways can be dangerous. Statistics show that approximately 2 million people are injured in car accidents every year in the United States. There can be many causes for a vehicle crash, including inclement weather, negligent drivers, and poor road conditions. However, improper or incomplete maintenance on automobiles can also contribute to causing accidents. In some cases, an auto repair shop or the dealership may put in a faulty part from the manufacturer. In other situations, an untrained employee may not install a piece of equipment properly, putting a driver at risk for significant injury. Still more scenarios involve negligent drivers who disregard notices to replace recalled parts or do not properly maintain their cars.

Routine Service Affects Road Safety

It is important for vehicle owners to inspect their cars and perform regular maintenance, or they may be held responsible for collisions that are caused by failure to keep their vehicle in safe and proper working order. For example, a tire that does not have enough tread can cause a driver to slide on ice or snow and hit another vehicle or a pedestrian. A tire blowout can lead to a motorist losing control and sending his or her car careening into oncoming traffic.

A few common examples of issues that can cause a car to malfunction:

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IL accident lawyerWalking is considered a great form of exercise for the cardiovascular system. Many people also commute by foot on a daily basis, whether going to school or their job if they live close enough. Pedestrians often walk in all kinds of weather: sunshine, snow, rain, fog, and sleet. The air temperature and outside conditions can affect the roadways and sidewalks, causing them to become icy and slippery, especially in an Illinois winter. This can impact both drivers and pedestrians alike. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2018, there were 6,283 pedestrian deaths caused by traffic collisions. Weather-related factors may be a contributing factor to pedestrian accidents, but there are also other reasons, such as distracted driving. Because pedestrians do not have the same type of protection as someone in a vehicle, their injuries are often catastrophic or fatal.

Factors That Can Lead to Pedestrian Injuries

The rules of the road are put in place for everyone’s safety. When these regulations are not followed, drivers and pedestrians can be at significant risk of injuries. Although Illinois is known for having more extreme weather compared to other states, some of the following apply to any state, directly leading to a pedestrian accident with serious injuries:

  • Distracted driving: Texting, talking to passengers, applying makeup, and eating are all examples of activities that take a driver’s attention away from the road ahead of him or her. Looking away even for a few seconds can cause a motorist to swerve onto a sidewalk, striking a pedestrian.
  • Speeding: Speed limits are enforced for a reason. Also referred to as reckless driving, traveling at a high rate of speed does not allow a driver enough time to come to a complete stop if a pedestrian suddenly appears in a crosswalk.
  • Intoxicated driving: Regardless if it is due to alcohol or drug use, studies show that impaired drivers’ reaction times are greatly reduced, as well as their reasoning skills and ability to make accurate judgment calls behind the wheel.
  • Failure to stop or yield: In many cases, pedestrians have the right of way and if a driver does not stop or yield before turning onto a street, he or she may hit a person in the designated crosswalk.
  • Inclement weather: Fog, blowing snow, freezing rain can all make it hard for a motorist to see, especially at night. Drivers must account for slick pavement so they do not lose control of their vehicles and collide with another car or pedestrian.
  • Left-hand turns: Drivers who are turning left at a busy intersection may only be focused straight ahead at the oncoming cars and not notice bystanders who are trying to cross the road.
  • Backing-up accidents: A common occurrence in parking lots, many drivers may not check their rearview mirror or back-up camera and accidentally hit a person walking by.

It is important to note that Illinois, along with several other states, follows the “modified comparative fault” rule regarding personal injury claims. Under this rule, a pedestrian who is considered to be more than 50 percent responsible for causing his or her own injuries is not allowed to recover any damages from a negligent or reckless driver.

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IL accident lawyerFor many drivers, traveling by car is an easy way to get from point A to point B. However, the statistics on automobile accidents are alarming. Studies show that in 2017, there were 311,679 crashes involving vehicles in Illinois. Collisions with injuries made up 21.5 percent of these crashes. Every state has rules of the road that are meant to ensure the safety of everyone traveling on the roadways. Most people know that a motorist must pass a written exam as well as a behind-the-wheel test in order to obtain a driver’s license. However, many Illinois citizens may not know that the state recently passed several new driving laws that went into effect on January 1, 2020. As a driver, it is important to become familiar with this new legislation to avoid a traffic violation as well as a car accident with injuries.

Passing a Stopped School Bus

One of the new laws that will affect Illinois drivers in 2020 involves going around or passing a stopped school bus. These are instances where the bus has its stop sign out and lights flashing while it is stopped to pick up or drop off children while on a two-lane road. This also applies to one-way streets regardless of the number of lanes of traffic. The fines for this illegal maneuver doubled starting on New Year’s Day, from $150 to $300 for a first offense and from $500 to $1,000 for a second or subsequent violation.

Scott’s Law Violations

Scott’s Law requires drivers to slow down, switch lanes, and pass with caution to allow more room for disabled cars or emergency vehicles on the side of the road when their hazard lights are flashing. Commonly referred to as the “move over law,” Scott’s Law was enacted in 2000 after Lt. Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department was killed by a drunk driver who was speeding and hit him.

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IL car accident lawyerObtaining a driver’s license is something that most Illinois teenagers look forward to when they turn 16. Studies show that car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. The first year after teens get their license are the most dangerous. During this period, new drivers are four times more likely than adult motorists to get into an auto accident. Besides the lack of experience behind the wheel, other reasons can include distracted driving or driving while intoxicated. These types of crashes can lead to minor or serious injuries depending on the circumstances. In certain cases, parents can be held liable if they were negligent in by not properly supervising their child, which resulted in actions that caused the accident and any subsequent injuries.

Contributing Factors to a Collision

Statistics show that even if a motorist takes his or her eyes off the road for a few seconds, this can lead to a rear-end collision or other type of crash, often with devastating consequences. In addition, when a motorist is intoxicated, his or her reaction time is much slower than when sober. Going over the posted speed limit also presents a major risk since the time needed to stop if the car ahead brakes is much greater.

Some of the most dangerous teen driving behaviors that can cause a crash include the following:

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