Unsafe driving is the top cause of commercial truck crashes

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance plans to bring attention to dangerous driving behaviors during its annual Operation Safe Driver Week, which is scheduled to begin July 15. Law enforcement in Illinois and throughout the nation will focus on drivers engaging in reckless actions like speeding, distracted driving, tailgating or breaking other traffic laws. Commercial vehicles come under particular scrutiny during the enforcement event. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, bad decisions by drivers contribute to 88 percent of crashes involving large trucks.

The alliance's week-long event adds to its mission of educating all drivers about distracted or reckless driving. The organization sponsors programs, often in partnership with the transportation industry, to improve traffic safety enforcement and promote safe driving practices.

During Operation Safe Driver Week in 2017, law enforcement officers issued almost 39,000 citations and warnings to commercial vehicle drivers. Most problems involved moving violations, but citations also addressed lack of seat belt use, speeding, cell phone usage and ignoring traffic signals.

Awareness campaigns like these exist because semi-truck accidents can result in severe or disabling injuries. A person suffering physically and financially in the aftermath of a crash caused by a negligent truck driver might want legal representation. An attorney familiar with trucking regulations could check hours of service logs to see if the at-fault driver had complied with federal safety rules. After organizing evidence about the at-fault driver, an attorney could file a personal injury claim. Negotiations with an insurer managed by an attorney might produce a pretrial settlement for the victim. If necessary, an attorney could present the case at trial to pursue compensation for lost income and medical expenses.

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