Many large trucks clog the Illinois highways, bearing down on passenger cars sharing the roads with them. It is easy to see why when they inevitably tangle together, the drivers of the smaller vehicles often suffer catastrophic injuries. The disparity in the size and weight is just too great for a good outcome.
Typical causes of accidents with big rigs include:
-- Driving errors by truckers. Unsafe operators engage in deadly driving behaviors like overloading the cargo area or failing to secure their load, drinking, drugging and driving, ignoring safety regulations and driving while fatigued.
Other factors related to truck driver error include not obtaining sufficient training to operate these commercial haulers and driving more hours than allowed in order to meet deadlines.
-- Trucking company policies that reflect impossible delivery schedules. When the companies lean on their drivers to make more deliveries in shorter time spans, the margin of error widens considerably.
-- Equipment that fails. All the moving parts and systems must work together smoothly to keep a big rig running. Shoddy maintenance or design defects can cause a dangerous breakdown of equipment, including vital components like tires and brakes.
Depending upon the circumstances of a wreck with an 18-wheeler, various parties could be held legally liable for any damages and injuries. Individual truck drivers, trucking companies, manufacturers, sellers, installers and mechanics all may have legal culpability for another driver's or passenger's injuries.
As assigning blame can be quite complicated and difficult to determine, these complex cases often wind up adjudicated in court where judges and juries hear the merits of the case.
Source: unsafetrucks.org, "Common Causes of Truck Accidents," accessed Nov. 27, 2015