Truck Accidents

Bicycle and Large Truck Accidents and Deaths Rise Suddenly and Sharply

Deaths of bicyclists and occupants of large trucks rose sharply last year even as total traffic fatalities dropped to their lowest level since 1949 according to federal safety officials. Bicyclists deaths jumped 8.7 percent and deaths of occupants of large trucks increased 20 percent while overall traffic fatalities dropped 1.9 percent.

The increase in bicycle deaths may reflect more people riding bicycles to work and for pleasure according to Jonathan Adkins, deputy executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association which represents state highway safety agencies.

For example, in Washington D.C. there has been at 175 percent increase in bicyclists during morning and evening rush hours since 2004.

The increase in large truck accidents in death may be more difficult to ascertain. The NHTSA is working with the Federal Motor Carrier Administration to gather more information to better understand the reason for the increase. Industry officials suspect there may be a connection between states increasing their speed limits and the increase in deaths. Texas has increased the speed limit to 85 mph on Highway 130 between Austin and San Antonio with a correlating increase in accidents.

Grazian and Volpe cannot stress enough the need for bicyclists to obey safety laws. where protective gear and use equipment and clothing that is lighted and/or visible in all weather conditions.

Remember-it is always better to stay safe and avoid accidents but if you can’t stay safe stay with Grazian and Volpe – Chicagoland’s Injury Lawyers for over 30 years.

New Weapon in the Prevention of Truck Jacknifes and Truck Accidents

While driving my daughter to college last week we were stopped in each direction for over 2 hours while troopers cleared truck accidents caused by jack-knifed trucks. As a personal injury attorney with many years of experience one would think I would be unfazed by accident. However, truck accidents make my blood run cold and simply seeing the aftermath of these truck accidents conjures up graphic pictures of the horrible personal injuries and fatalities suffered by those involved.

It is especially tragic when the truck driver was driving while fatigued or distracted and the accident was preventable. However the injuries are no less severe than when the accident was not preventable has in the case of a jack-knifed truck. Truck accidents involving tractor-trailers are especially dangerous.

Anti-lock and electromagnetic brakes can help, and some trucks have devices that limit the angle  between the tractor and trailer at higher speeds. Now engineers at the University of Patras in Greece have created a new kingpin (where the trailer is hitched to the tractor) than can slide parallel to the tractor’s rear axle so the trailer won’t  swing out into the road during a truck crash. The sliding pin would only be activated during an emergency.

Grazian and Volpe applaud all new devices aimed at making our roads safer-let’s hope this new tool finds quick implementation. Remember it is always best to stay safe but if you can’t stay safe stay with Grazian and Volpe, your Chicagoland Injury Lawyers for over 30 years.

New Tool in the War on Texting and Driving

Your Chicago Injury Attorneys at Grazian and Volpe make a good living from the negligence of those who text and drive and cause car accidents and truck accidents. However, we would certainly prefer our clients and the general public stay safe and avoid personal injury. We may be lawyers but we still are humans!

I just spent 20 hours driving cross country to get my youngest daughter off to her first year of college. My wife and I witnessed  many car drivers of cars and trucks who were texting while driving at speeds well over 60 miles per hour. The majority of these drivers were truck drivers. It was so prolific that we started a car game competition to see who could spot the most truck drivers texting. Unfortunately, we found most truck drivers were texting and the competition was to find the drivers that were not texting! Studies show that this is more dangerous than drinking while driving and more likely to cause serious personal injury and wrongful death. Yet texting while driving appears to be on the increase.

I was very pleased to see a recent article in Investor’s Business Daily which reported the invention of a new deivice designed to prevent this dangerous practice. Anna University researchers in India have found a way to detect when someone is texting, and then jam the phone. The device uses a radio-frequency identification chip to find out if the vehicle is moving and whether the driver is texting. Unlike similiar devices, this technology can tell the driver from a passenger and jam only the driver’s phone.

On the highways and in South Chicago we have a huge amount of truck traffic. Your Chicagoland Accident Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe beg that you drive defensively and be aware of drivers who are texting while driving. Remember, it is always better to stay safe, but if you can’t stay safe, stay with Grazian and Volpe, your Chicago and South Chicago accident lawyers for over 30 years!

Government Behind On Preventing Truck Accidents

The Chicago and Cicero Truck Accident Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe are sorry about and frustrated by the failure of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to provide the data to Congress necessary for the implementation of tougher safety regulations fort he commercial carrier industry.

Highway crashes involving large commercial trucks and buses caused the death of over 3,600 people in the U.S. in 2009. The FMCSA began along with various state partners began a compliance, safety and accountability (CSA) program in 2004. This program is intended to identify and evaluate carriers and drivers posing high safety risks. The FMSCA expected to fully implement the CSA program by late 2010.

In late 2011, the GAO report found the new safety measurement system (SMS) promulgated by the FMSCA is still not in effect to get unsafe carriers off the road. The GAO found that the FMSCA has not completed the rule-making needed to implement the program and that the technology needed for implementation will not be ready until mid to late 2012.

In essence, the FMSCA has not provided the necessary information to Congress needed to make statutory decisions based upon the program despite the initiation of the program over 7 years ago!

The Chicago and Oak Lawn Truck Accident Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe are frustrated by the lack of urgency exhibited by our government in addressing remedies for a serious and growing number of truck accidents due to poor standards, regulation and enforcement. We invite all to write or call their elected representatives and let them know that we value the safety of our highways!

Final Government Report on Tragic Truck Accident a Call to Action

The Chicago and Berwyn Truck Accident Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe feel that the final report in the Kentucky truck accident that occurred last March is a positive message and call to action for the implement of tougher government safety regulation of the trucking industry.

Last September we reported that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) had instituted an investigation of the 2010 truck accident wherein 11 people were killed including the driver of the truck and ten members of a Kentucky Mennonite community riding in a van on their way to a wedding.

The report found that the truck driver was using his cellphone at the time of the crash and issued further admonitions that all bus drivers and truck drivers be barred from using a cell phone while operating a vehicle. The implementation of this recommendation would be the most significant highway safety measure since mandatory seat belt usage.

The Chicago and South Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe applaud the recommendation of the NTSB and hope that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and all 50 states will take swift action in implementation of newer and tougher safety regulation on the commercial trucking industry.

More Interesting Statistics on Trucks, Truck Drivers and Truck Accidents

The Chicago and South Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe are on a never-ending quest to promote highway safety and awareness. Accidents involving commercial vehicles can be tragic and often fatal. We hope the second in a series blog will help entertain and educate about the facts and hazards of sharing the road with commercial vehicles.

Of the 41,000 to 45,000 traffic deaths each year – 9% involve commercial vehicles. Remember this statistic is for deaths only – truck accidents involving serious personal injury are not included;

  • There are nearly 500,000 truck accidents each year
  • More than 4% of truck accident fatalities involve truck driver fatigue
  • Nearly 5000 people are killed each year in a truck accident. Nearly 98% of the time, the drivers of the other vehicle are killed.
  • 68% of truck accidents occur in rural accidents and 68% during the day time. 78% occur on the weekends.
  • Someone is killed in a truck accident every 16 minutes!

The Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe hope that all drivers remain rested, cautious and aware at all times. It is not just you but those with whom you share our roads and highways. Remember-it is always better to stay safe but if you can’t-stay with Grazian and Volpe, your Chicago Accident Lawyers for over 25 years!

A person is injured or killed in a truck accident every 16 minutes!

Some Interesting Statistics on Trucks and Truck Accidents

The Cicero and Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe are dedicated and strong advocates for truck safety. To that end we hope that the following statistics can educate you and your family on truck accidents, causes and prevention:

  • There are nearly 3.5 million commercial truck drivers in the United States operating an estimated 15.5 million registered commercial trucks
  • In 2006, the commercial trucks logged 432.9 billion miles!
  • 9% of traffic deaths each year are attributable to commercial vehicles
  • In 1896 there were only four cars registered in the whole United States and two collided in St. Louis!
  • As of 2009, we were close to 8 million motor vehicle accidents and current records indicate that most American driver’s will have a near motor vehicle accident 1 to 3 times per month and will be in a collision of some type every 5 to 8 years.

Join us Wednesday when the Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe report more facts and points in the war on truck accidents and motor vehicle crashes!

Truck Accidents: Factors That Cause Personal Injury

Truck accidents are caused by a number of factors. Chicago is a crossroads for trucking the United States and as long time Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers we spend a great amount of time speaking and writing about defense tactics that drivers can employ and issues to be wary of when driving on the road with trucks and other large commercial vehicles. Truck accidents are serious and often fatal and the driver of a smaller vehicle usually bears the brunt of the physical and property damage. South Chicago sustains the greatest amount of truck traffic so as always please refer to our other blogs regarding safety and trucking and have those inexperienced drivers you know also educate themselves.

This article just address the 20 most frequently cited factors contributing to accidents involving trucks and if you can be visually and mentally aware of some soft spots we hope we won’t have to see you as an injured victim of one of these terrible motor vehicle accidents. The dangerous factors are as follows:

  1. rushed deliveries
  2. driver fatigue
  3. improperly trained or inexperience driver
  4. aggressive driving
  5. driver with history of reckless or dangerous driving
  6. driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  7. speeding or driving to fast for conditions
  8. unsafe equipment – watch for taillights
  9. oversized or overloaded vehicle
  10. Poorly maintained brakes and vehicles
  11. driver error
  12. blind spots-stay out of them
  13. driver stress and inattention
  14. careless backing
  15. shifting
  16. spilling or spilled loads
  17. sudden stops
  18. overturned trucks
  19. failing to inspect
  20. driver distracted because of cell phone, texting or on-board computers

It’s driving season in Chicago- drive safely and if you can’t stay safe-stay with the Chicago and Cicero Truck Accident Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe!

Truck Accidents and Personal Injuries: Who is Liable?

The Chicago and Cicero Truck Accident Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe advise accident victims and accident lawyers to be aware that truck accidents may involve pedestrians, cyclists, motorcycles, cars or other trucks and to be knowledgeable in the particular and special insurance mandates for commercial carriers. The insurance rules are different in each case. Trucks involved in interstate commerce will have a minimum of $750,000 in liability insurance (see grazianandvolpe.com August 14, 2011).

The question of who is liable for a trucking accident is complex and could involve one or a number of potential defendants. Truck drivers can be held liable for personal injuries or wrongful death caused by their own negligence, which is their failure to use due care in the operation of their trucks. Employers of the drivers are vicariously liable for the negligence of their employee truck drivers. Employers may be directly liable if they have hired an untrained or incompetent driver, or if they had reason to know that the driver was no longer properly qualified. It is common practice for drivers to lease trucks or companies to lease loads. Under federal regulations, some lessees may be liable for injuries caused and if the truck is loaded by a third party, that third party may be liable for negligent loading if their actions caused a load to shift or fall from the truck. A truck manufacturer may be liable for  defective design or manufacture as well as the manufacturer of component parts. These constitute product liability claims and extend to the tires, as well (see grazianandvolpe.com August 11, 2011).

Chicago is a major trucking hub and in the 25 plus years, the Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe have litigated and successfully settled numerous claims involving trucks and large vehicles. As Chicago Personal Injury and South Chicago Accident Lawyers for we understand the nuances and complexity of these claims and welcome the opportunity to consult on the issues and challenges inherent in pursuing these types of claims. Consultations are always free and we make as much information available to the public through internet, social and TV media. Please follow our website at grazianandvolpe.com and our monthly TV appearances on WCIU, You and Me in the Morning where we answer viewer questions and offer comment on current issues in personal injury law, accident law and workers’ compensation.

Truck Accidents: Another Wrongful Death?!?

Truck Accidents: Another Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The Chicago and Cicero Truck Accident Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe are sorry to report another truck accident resulting in a death and serious injuries; spawning a lawsuit filed by the surviving spouse.   Her husband was killed when his pickup collided with a flatbed trailer being towed by a dump truck. The suit alleges that the flatbed trailer broke away from the dump truck and crossed into the path of the pickup, killing the man and seriously injuring his wife.

The suit alleges that the accident could have been avoided if the truck and trailer owner’s had properly maintained the trailer. The allegations in the lawsuit state that:

  • safety chains weren’t used to attach the trailer to the dump truck
  • the trailer’s rear wheels didn’t have working air brakes
  • there were no working lights on the trailer

Chicago is a major trucking hub and as Chicago and South Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers of over 25 years, Grazian and Volpe has handled hundreds of lawsuits where trucking companies have been found to ignore safety regulations and precautions.  We posted several articles in July and August detailing these regulations and precautions that should be observed. It is our hope that this information may help in the prevention of truck accidents.

This current lawsuit may be another tragic example of the tragedies that occur when trucking companies and their drivers ignore truck safety. If so, the Cicero and Chicago Truck Accidents Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe hope that justice is served and the family of the deceased compensated as much as possible for their injuries and loss.