We live in a world where more and more people are buying cars and learning to drive, and this is leading to a big issue: traffic. And, with an increasing amount of traffic, we are seeing an increase in road-related accidents and fatalities. Did you know that car accidents are actually now the fourth leading cause of death in the United States with over a million road-related fatalities each year–with nearly 1,000 occurring in the state of Illinois alone?
In fact, car accidents happen so frequently that you have over a 30% chance of ending up in a collision each time you get behind the wheel. With all of this information, you might be wondering: what can I do to make these numbers work in my favor? How can I ensure my own safety while on the road? Well, besides following traffic laws and exercising caution during hazardous weather conditions, the only answer is: nothing.
Yep, you read that right. There’s very little you can do to reduce your own risk because the biggest danger that you will face on the road is something that you can’t control. It’s other drivers.
The top leading causes of car accidents in the United States are: drunk driving, reckless driving, and distracted driving– which has been one of the leading causes of road-related accidents since the introduction of cellphones and other handheld technology, being the cause of nearly 20% of car accidents each year.
Reckless driving can mean many things; from something as serious as ignoring traffic laws such as speed limits and right-of-way to letting your driving be too heavily influenced by your emotions ie. riding the bumper of that guy who just cut you off. Obviously, in the eyes of the law, one of these is a much more serious offense than the other, but they both have the very real possibility of ending in tragedy. So, it’s best to drive with caution and a clear head.
Of all kinds of accidents, truck accidents are the most likely to cause serious injuries or death, with these types of accidents making up nearly 10% of road-related fatalities in Illinois each year.
These accidents are usually preventable, and thus, if you find yourself to be a victim of a truck-related accident, you could be entitled to financial compensation for any injuries sustained, property damaged, or any additional pain or suffering that you experience as a result of such an incident. All you need to do is follow the proper steps to build your case, and a lawyer can take care of the rest.
Truck accidents, like car accidents, are most commonly caused by negligence. This could be the same type of negligence–reckless or distracted driving–or it could be the result of systematic negligence; such as a company’s failure to comply with proper safety protocol.
Companies are supposed to give their drivers a certain number of breaks and a certain amount of time off between shifts. This is to prevent the drivers from becoming too overworked and exhausted, minimizing the risk of them driving drowsy or even falling asleep behind the wheel.
However, sometimes these requirements are overlooked or ignored entirely due to driver shortages and tight deadlines, and drivers are not given the proper amount of time to recuperate in-between jobs. For these same reasons, drivers are also sometimes robbed of proper training and stuck behind the wheel without enough experience, putting both them and the other drivers that they share the road with at a higher risk of being involved in a crash.
Another leading cause of truck accidents in the United States is improper truck maintenance. Most commercial trucks in the US are capable of doing a considerable amount of damage in accidents due to their sheer size and weight. That is why, especially with how often they’re run, it is important that these trucks are properly maintained.
Commercial trucks must be systematically inspected and repaired every so many miles to prevent any failure of the breaks, tires, and engine. Of course, as with the treatment of drivers, some companies will put off repairs to save both time and money, and over-running trucks until easy fixes become massive tragedies.
If a company chooses not to follow any of the requirements for either proper maintenance of the truck or proper care of the driver, they could be considered negligible in the event that one of their trucks is involved in an accident, and could be held responsible for any of the financial consequences–injuries sustained by the third party as well as any damage to their property.