During the past year in our part of the country, in both Indiana and Illinois, we have seen tragedy on our roads as semi-truck accidents have been responsible for serious injuries and deaths in truck crashes. It’s important that everyone in our part of the country understand and be vigilant about the very real dangers of sharing a road with a commercial truck (i.e., tractor-trailer, big rig, 18 wheeler, semi, big rig).
These are heavy, cumbersome vehicles that must be driven by people who have had special training and have passed the requirements to be a commercial truck driver. Fully loaded with all kinds of cargo, sometimes hazardous, these vehicles become monsters on the road, significantly outsizing and outweighing the sedans, SUVs, pick ups, minivans, motorcycles, and smaller vans and trucks that drive alongside them. Add to this the speed factor when they are traveling on interstates and other high-speed freeways or tollways, and the risk of fatal accidents involving these big trucks skyrockets.
Consider these news stories of serious semi truck accidents in our neck of the woods, just in the past couple of weeks:
1. October 12, 2015. On a pleasant Monday morning near Merrillville, there was semi truck rollover crash on I-65 that seriously injured the truck driver; maybe you or someone you know were caught up in the two-hour traffic jam that followed until the interstate was cleared. The driver apparently lost control of his semi truck, and the big rig ended up in a roadside ditch, wheels in the air, with the driver trapped in the cab. See, “UPDATE: Truck driver badly injured in I-65 rollover”
2. October 9, 2015. Last Friday, a tractor trailer truck driving on U.S. 20 near Burns Harbor collided with an Acura sedan as the Acura was exiting a parking lot. The driver of the car was getting onto U.S.20 from Mortar Net, where he worked as a business consultant. The semi truck was moving down the highway, and hit the car. The force of impact was so great that the big rig shoved the sedan into a roadside ditch, and the driver was tragically pronounced dead at the scene. (The truck driver was not hurt in the crash.) See, “Munster resident killed in Burns Harbor crash remembered.”
3. On September 29,2015, four big rigs slammed into each other as they were driving along the northbound lanes of I-65 in Johnson County. They were all tractor trailer trucks, moving through a construction work zone on the interstate. Luckily, no one was hurt in the pile-up. See, “4 semis collide on I-65 in southern Indiana.”
4. On the morning of October 8, 2015, a commercial truck driver driving his semi truck north on I-69 had a heart attack and lost control of his big rig. The truck hit another car as it swerved off the road. The cardiac arrest was fatal and the trucker was pronounced dead at the scene; thankfully, no one else was hurt in the accident. See, “Medical emergency causes wreck.”
1. On Monday morning, October 12, 2015, on I-57 near Monee, Illinois, three people were hurt but fortunately no one was killed as a pick-up truck with a trailer attached to it, carrying a Bobcat, crashed into a tow truck that was towing a tractor-trailer truck. The pickup truck rolled over; the semi tractor tractor fell off the tow and rolled into a roadside ditch. See, “3 Hurt In Rollover Crash On Sb I-57 Near Manhattan-Monee Road.”
2. On October 6, 2015, in Champaign County, Illinois, two semi trucks driving along I-74 crashed in a serious wreck where both truckers had to be rushed to the hospital for treatment. Danger increased as diesel fuel spilled out onto the interstate. (Traffic was shut down for hours.)
Meanwhile, a mile down the road, another crash happened shortly after this first truck accident as two more big rigs crashed, along with a box truck and an RV. The driver of the box truck was seriously injured.
Weather conditions are thought to be a factor in these truck crashes: it was early in the morning with a dense fog cover. See, “Wrecks congest certain stretch of road.”
Truck Crashes and Fatal Truck Accidents in Indiana and Illinois
Sadly, these news stories are just a few examples of how serious the threat of truck crashes and fatal semi truck accidents are in this part of the country. These news stories are not the result of a sudden rash of truck crashes; they are a few examples of the regular news that is reported in our area.
People in Indiana and Illinois are at a significant risk of being in a serious truck accident and the danger of serious injuries or death in a crash with these heavy, fast-moving commercial trucks. The idea that there are proposals to make it acceptable for there to be longer big rigs, and tractor-trailer trucks able to haul heavier amounts of cargo, will only increase the danger to all of us who drive alongside these trucks on local interstates, state highways, tollways, etc.
Of course, if an accident happens, there is personal injury law to help truck crash victims with the resulting damages like medical bills, rehabilitation and physical therapy expense, lost wages, lost future earnings, and more — but the better result is to prevent these accidents from happening in the first place.