A total of 136 fatal Illinois trucking accidents occurred in 2008, ranking the state among the worst in the nation for fatal trucking accidents according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which continues to release data based on last year’s accident statistics.
Overall, trucking fatalities declined slightly; the nation’s 9 million semis drove 226 million miles and were involved in 4,066 fatal crashes, compared to 4,633 fatal crashes in 2007.
Trucking companies and truck drivers are heavily regulated because of the dangers they pose to motorists in an accident. An 80,000 pound semi can weigh 20 times more than a passenger vehicle. Four of every 5 multi-vehicle trucking accidents involved a fatality, compared to just over half of multi-vehicle crashes involving only passenger cars.
Compared to automobile drivers, truckers involved in fatal crashes were less likely to have derogatory driving records, like DUI convictions or suspended licenses, but were more likely to have been cited for speeding and just as likely to have been involved in previous crashes.
Illinois ranked 7th in the nation behind California, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas in the total number of fatal trucking accidents.
Last year, some 380,000 large trucks were involved in traffic accidents that killed 4,229 motorists. Another 90,000 were injured. Nationwide, large trucks account for 4 percent of road traffic. In Illinois, nearly 10 percent of the state’s traffic comes from large trucks. California and Texas were the two states with the most trucks on the road.
In 2008, one out of every nine traffic fatalities resulted from a collision involving a large truck. In 3 out of every 4 cases, the person killed occupied a vehicle involved in an accident with the truck. The trucker was killed in 26 percent of the accidents.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious or fatal Illinois trucking accident, the Chicago injury lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free consultations to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.