Big Rig Trucks — We Need Them, But at What Price?

Americans on the move on U.S. interstate highways are used to sharing the road with big rigs. Although they are a key component of the Illinois economy, carrying consumable goods to market, these monster vehicles can make it difficult for the driving public to travel safely on the state’s roadways.

If you drive on any interstate highway, you know how many of these 18-wheelers are on the road. You have probably seen your share of questionable maneuvers from the drivers. That’s not to say they’re all bad. Unfortunately, because of high pressure by trucking companies to make deliveries on time, drivers are sometimes forced to take short cuts. As a result, drivers in Illinois and everywhere across the U.S. face the potential of an increase in tractor trailer accidents.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety maintains statistics on large truck accidents. Across the nation in 2011, a total of 3,373 people died in large truck crashes. Not surprisingly, two-thirds of them were in cars or in other smaller vehicles. The average 18-wheeler is 53 feet long and weighs up to 80,000 pounds. So if you are unfortunate enough to be in an accident with one, your chances of property damage and personal injury are very high.

The main causes of tractor trailer crashes are:

  • Driver fatigue
  • Driver impairment from drugs or alcohol
  • Overweight trucks
  • Improper vehicle maintenance
  • Excessive speed

If you’ve been in a collision with a big rig, be sure you know your rights. Call an Illinois lawyer with transportation-related property damage and personal injury expertise before you accept an offer from the trucking company’s insurer. You want to have an experienced truck accident lawyer that can help get you the maximum amount in a settlement.