Konicek & Dillon, P.C.

Personal Injury Law Blog

Truck drivers must be especially cautious when merging

You might be one of many Illinois motorists who wish they didn't have to share the roadway with so many commercial truck drivers. Do you ever plan your travel time or take a back road in order to avoid trucks on the highway? If so, you're definitely not alone in these endeavors. Many travelers would rather take alternate routes -- even if it means reaching their destinations will take longer -- than try to stay safe on highways where tractor-trailers and other big trucks are barreling by.

Truck drivers operate under different regulations from non-commercial vehicle drivers. At the same time, they are legally obligated to adhere to all traffic laws and safety regulations that other motorists must follow as well. As a licensed driver, you know that merging can be a particularly challenging maneuver. If a truck driver is dealing with a distraction or being reckless, a merger can quickly result in disaster.

The many risks of driving a large commercial truck while tired

Have you even been sleepy while driving to work in the morning? Have you ever found yourself yawning during the last few hours of a long road trip? Like most people, you probably answered those questions in the affirmative. Almost every driver has experienced exhaustion while behind the wheel at some point.

There is a big difference between being a little tired and being too sleepy to drive safely. Knowing the difference between these two things is important, especially for truck drivers. A fatigued truck driver is a danger to everyone on the road, significantly increasing the chance that an accident will occur. Truckers should be willing and able to recognize the signs that they may not be in a state where they can safely drive a big rig. 

Nursing home abuse and protecting your loved ones

When you place a loved one in an Illinois nursing home, you probably assume that he or she will receive quality care. After all, you did extensive research to find a facility that would meet the needs of your family member at a price your family could afford. It can be devastating to learn that this was not actually the case, and your loved one suffered harm. 

At this point, you may feel overwhelmed and confused about what you should do next. Fortunately, there are legal options available to your family. It may be possible to hold liable parties accountable through a civil claim, but first, you need to know if you actually have a case. It is not always easy to prove nursing home negligence, but this is not something you have to undertake alone. 

Distractions and their impact on truck drivers

Large trucks and semitrailers play a large role in the American economy. They are responsible for the transportation of various types of goods and products across the country. Because of the large size and weight of these vehicles, the men and women who drive them have a special responsibility to be safe and aware while they are behind the wheel.

You know that distracted driving plays a large role in the number of car accidents in Illinois and across the country. Distraction is particularly dangerous when the distracted individual is driving a semitrailer or large truck, but it does not represent the only issue that causes accidents. It may surprise you to learn that a person can be looking at the road and still not be completely attentive or notice hazards until it is too late.

Truck accident might cause serious brain damage

As you drive to town, you notice a semi-truck approaching you. The very next thing you remember is waking up in a hospital bed. Apparently, the truck you saw approaching ended up striking your car.

Fortunately, you survived the truck accident. However, unfortunately, the crash caused you to suffer injuries to your brain. If the truck accident was the result of the truck driver's negligence, though, it is within your rights to pursue justice through the Illinois civil court system.

Two little known causes of truck accidents

Being a passenger in a vehicle can be freeing in some ways. You don't necessarily have to pay attention to the traffic, you can use your phone and you could even fall asleep if you want to do so. However, it also puts you in a precarious position since you completely rely on other drivers to keep you safe.

You may agree with other motorists who believe that staying safe is especially important around 18-wheelers. The size and weight of these vehicles makes them a formidable presence on Illinois's roadways. You probably already know that factors such as distraction, impairment and fatigue contribute to a large number of these accidents, but other, lesser-known factors also contribute to a large number of crashes involving trucks.

Delayed symptoms could indicate serious brain injury

Brain injuries and trauma to the head are some of the most common types of car accident injuries. However, many people are unaware of the true impact of their injuries until days or even weeks after the initial impact. Delayed symptoms could still indicate a significant medical issue.

If you are an Illinois accident victim, you may feel unsure about the true impact your accident injuries immediately after an accident. With brain injuries, it is difficult to predict how they will affect a victim as every person is different and has a unique health history. As a victim of an accident caused by another driver, you have the right to recovery, even if facing delayed symptoms. 

Was the truck driver in your crash too tired to safely drive?

Truck accidents happen for a variety of reasons. Some of them may not be directly under a truck driver's control, such as weather, unexpected mechanical issues or other drivers on the road. However, many factors leading to these crashes are within the control of the driver.

For instance, failing to get adequate rest could lead to a serious or deadly accident. Even if a driver remains within his or her hours of service, that doesn't preclude the possibility that the driver was too tired to safely operate a big rig.

The supersized problem of distracted truckers

You may never forget the day your life changed forever. On the other hand, you may mercifully have no memory of the tractor-trailer accident that caused you catastrophic injuries and perhaps claimed the life of a loved one. While that loss may have been precious to you, your loved one was among approximately 5,000 others who died in accidents with big rigs in a single year.

Most horrifying of all may have been the news that the driver of the truck was distracted at the time of the accident. Perhaps the driver did not even apply the brakes because he or she was looking away from the road and failed to see that your vehicle and others had stopped or slowed down. This scenario plays out too often on today's fast-paced highways.

Despite your efforts, you could still be a truck accident victim

Like many Illinois residents, you may have a substantial fear of traveling the roadways alongside semi-trucks. These larger vehicles could do considerable damage to your vehicle or to you in the event that an accident takes place. Because of these potential outcomes, increased apprehension around semi-trucks often affects numerous travelers.

Because you certainly want to do your part when it comes to avoiding unnecessary risks when driving near tractor-trailers, you likely take precautions to remain safe. However, some potential errors on your part may not have crossed your mind, and therefore, you may wish to consider avoiding the following scenarios as well.

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