Harvest season is an important time for Illinois. It means more jobs, local festivals, and a strengthened economy. It also means tens of thousands of truckers coming from all over the US to collect our produce and take it somewhere else. What most people don’t realize is how the harvest season causes more truck crashes.
Whether it’s a container truck filled with corn or a flatbed stacked with pallets of soybeans, farmhands and truck drivers need to ensure the cargo is well secured. If something flies off the truck and hits a driver’s windshield, it could cause a crash or a panic that sends the driver swerving across the road. In more serious cases where a securing strap snaps or an entire pallet falls off the truck, the damage can be catastrophic.
These incidents are much more likely than anyone would expect. According to a study by AAA, each year about 200,000 crashes are caused by road debris falling off trucks (a mixture of loose cargo, burst tires, and other objects tumbling into the flow of traffic). For that reason, it’s always a good idea to provide a few extra car lengths when following produce trucks and fully-loaded flatbeds.
The other reason for the increased number of truck accidents is that there are more trucks in the area. As we discussed before, most drivers aren’t using best practices when passing and merging near trucks. The more trucks on the road, the greater the risk of someone making a mistake.
There are two ways to address this uptick in fall truck crashes. First, we need better safety measures to ensure loads are secure before a truck leaves the depot. Second, we need to improve road safety education for both drivers and truckers. Truckers need better training and the average driver would greatly benefit from more truck-related questions on their DMV test.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries or even wrongful death in a trucking crash, you might have a case. If you’d like an experienced DeKalb County car accident attorney from Turner & Sackett LLC to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (800) 761-0993.