On Father’s Day weekend in Central Illinois, a 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee was carrying two people. They were traveling northbound on I-55 north of Pontiac when the unthinkable happened and they collided with the back of a semi-tractor-trailer. Both vehicles were merging into the left lane on the highway as the right lane was blocked by construction. Illinois State police said the SUV was traveling at a “much greater speed” than the semi when it collided with the trailer and became lodged.
The SUV then caught fire and neither occupant was able to escape. Both were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the truck was not injured in the crash.
It’s sad to say that this type of collision is not uncommon, and even sadder how serious and fatal these kinds of accidents can be. It’s important to know the risks that come with sharing the road with larger vehicles like semi-tractor-trailers. In this post you’ll find some sobering statistics about semi-tractor-trailer collisions and why it’s a good idea to have an experienced attorney on your side if you’re involved in one.
How many crashes with semi-tractor-trailers happen each year?
Of the approximately 450,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks in 2017, there were 4,237 (1%) fatal crashes and 344,000 (23%) injury crashes.
Are accidents with semi-tractor-trailers becoming more frequent?
From 2015 to 2017:
The number of large trucks in fatal crashes weighing 10,001 to 14,000 pounds increased 225%, from 144 to 468 crashes.
The number of medium/heavy pickup trucks in fatal crashes increased 151%, from 133 to 334 crashes.
The number of large trucks with no issuing authority in fatal crashes increased 95%, from 295 to 574 crashes.
What are semi-tractor-trailer singles, doubles, and triples?
Singles (truck tractors pulling a single semi-trailer) accounted for 59% of the large trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2017. Doubles (tractors pulling two trailers) made up 2% of the large trucks involved in fatal crashes. And triples (tractors pulling three trailers) accounted for 0.3% of all large trucks involved in fatal crashes.
What types of accidents are large trucks most often involved in?
In 2017, 4,657 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes. According to the Motor Carrier Management Information System, 56,422 large trucks were involved in injury crashes, and 102,973 were involved in towaway crashes.
What is the most common driver-related factor for large truck accidents?
In 2017, at least one driver-related factor was recorded for 32% of the large truck drivers in fatal crashes, compared to 54% of the passenger vehicle drivers in fatal crashes. “Speeding of any kind” was the most frequent driver-related factor for drivers of both vehicle types, “distraction/inattention” was the second most common for large truck drivers, and “impairment (fatigue, alcohol, illness, etc.)” was the second most common for passenger vehicle drivers.
How often are drivers and passengers in semi-tractor-trailers injured when they get in an accident?
There were 841 large truck occupant fatalities in 2017, a 16% increase from the 725 fatalities in 2016. In 2017, 85% of these occupant fatalities were drivers of large trucks and 15% were passengers in large trucks.
Can a lawyer help if I’m in an accident with a semi-tractor-trailer?
The short answer is YES. In some cases where the truck driver is injured, there may be a claim filed with the insurance company of the vehicle. Even though truck drivers are operating a much larger vehicle, they may still get injured in an accident with a smaller vehicle. Factors to consider are:
whether there was a trailer attached to the cab of the truck,
whether the truck was carrying anything in its trailer,
the level of impact, the speed of the truck,
and the other vehicle involved.
An experienced attorney can help you navigate through such a case especially if the trucking company involved may be trying to violate the law or you may be the at-fault driver in the accident.
If you were involved in an accident with a semi-truck or were driving the semi-tractor-trailer and have questions concerning the accident, call us for a free consultation at 312-223-1700.