A severe traffic accident involving a semi-truck that occurred on Interstate 94 outside of the Gurnee area resulted in sixteen people being taken to local hospitals for treatment of their injuries. Of the sixteen requiring treatment at a hospital, five of the people were listed in critical condition immediately following the accident. The accident occurred on Friday morning right before eleven and all lanes were not open until close to three that afternoon. The accident involved five passenger cars (three of which were sport utility vehicles) and one semi-truck that was hauling a trailer.
According to the Chicago Tribune and police reports, the five passenger vehicles were stopped in traffic in the two right lanes and the semi truck was not able to slow down in time to avoid crashing into the stopped vehicles. The traffic was stopped right near the exit for Six Flags Great America, and the traffic at the exit had been backed up all morning.
This type of accident is an unfortunate reminder of how dangerous it can be to not be fully alert and aware of other cars and traffic traveling around you. On the highway it is easy to be going at fast speeds and not realize that traffic in front of you has come to a complete stop. The best way to avoid an accident in this type of situation is to always stay alert and aware and to also make sure to leave enough distance between your car and the car in front of you. When there is adequate space between cars, drivers will most likely have enough space to stop in the event of a sudden standstill or slowdown in traffic.
This problem can be a much more severe issue when the driver of a semi-truck fails to keep this safe distance. Semi-trucks crashing into cars can often lead to a much more severe and dangerous accident than passenger car accident, due to the extreme size of the trucks and the damage they can cause. Semi-truck drivers should be trained to always keep appropriate distance from other cars and trucks, however unfortunately many times drivers do not practice this safety measure.
Even when truck drivers know the safety precautions they are supposed to take and even when they usually are very good about being safe and alert drivers, oftentimes these precautions are forgotten when truck drivers drive more hours than they are supposed to by law and when they are suffering from fatigue. When a driver is overtired it becomes easier to forget to stay alert and forget to take certain safety precautions and is a very dangerous time to be behind the wheel.
If you or a loved one was involved in a truck accident in which there is evidence that the truck driver was driving too close to the cars or trucks in front of them, was not paying attention or may have been driving past the legal number of hours allowed, please contact our office to discuss what legal options may be available to you and to your family. Drivers responsible for a traffic accident caused by their own avoidable negligence should be held accountable.