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How Illinois Drivers Can Avoid Truck Accidents

Truck accident law firms in Illinois are sadly all too familiar with the tragically high number of tractor trailer truck accidents that result in serious injuries or fatalities in the state. In fact, the number of fatality crashes involving large trucks in Illinois has been steadily rising in the last few years with 142 occurring in 2013 alone. Unfortunately, when large truck accidents happen, they often result in serious and sometimes disabling injuries, significant property damage and even death.

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How To Avoid Truck Accidents

Truck Accidents in the United States

Accidents that involve large trucks are a bigger problem than many people realize.

  • Nearly 10 percent of fatal traffic accidents involve large trucks.
  • Approximately 90 percent of truck accidents that cause serious injuries or fatalities involve smaller passenger vehicles.
  • An estimated 3, 675 people died in the United States in 2010 due to tractor trailer accidents.
  • 2,790 of those deaths were passengers or drivers of other vehicles.

Sharing the Road with Large Trucks

The good news, however, is that there are a few things Illinois drivers can do to help stay safe as they share the roads with truckers.

  • Blind Spots: Approximately 1/3 of fatal crashes involving large trucks and passenger vehicles occur in the truck driver’s blind spots. Drivers of smaller vehicles should avoid traveling to the right or immediate rear of large trucks for extended amounts of time. Additionally, smaller blind spots exist at the mid-left side and right front corner of trucks. A good rule of thumb: if a driver can’t see the trucker in his mirrors, it is likely that the trucker cannot see the driver.
  • Stopping Distance: 18-wheelers require significantly more time and distance to stop or slow down than smaller passenger vehicles. In fact, at just 55 mph., a large truck takes an average of 300 ft. to stop, while a smaller vehicle takes approximately 140 ft. In order to reduce the chances of an accident occurring, drivers of passenger vehicles should allow plenty of space when pulling in front of big trucks, and always signal early when turning or changing lanes near a large truck.
  • Distracted Driving: A distracted driver is a dangerous driver. In 2010, distracted driving contributed to 9 out of 10 fatal accidents. Operators of large trucks and smaller passenger vehicles alike should avoid using cell phones, day dreaming, or reaching for items while on the road.