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semi truck accidents, Chicago personal injury lawyerVehicle accidents that involve semi-trucks or other oversized vehicles are often the most catastrophic. Many end in death, and those that do not typically cause severe, long-term health problems. Surprisingly though, most collisions with oversized vehicles are caused by the mistakes of other motorists. Thankfully, you have the power to make the roads and highways safer for everyone by learning how to share the road with semi-trucks and other oversized vehicles.

Understand the Limitations of Oversized Vehicles

Semi-trucks and oversized vehicles operate very differently than cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Their massive size creates very large blind spots and makes it very difficult to navigate turns. Most are also loaded with heavy freight, which also limits their ability to stop quickly. If you understand these limitations, and know how to effectively accommodate them, you can decrease your risk of a collision with an oversized vehicle.

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commercial truck accidents, insurance coverage minimumsCatastrophic crashes with freight or commercial trucks are rare, but when they do happen, the implications can be extensive and long-lasting. Death, lifelong health complications, expensive medical bills, loss of income, and decreased quality of life are just a few examples. Unfortunately, there are some problems with the insurance coverage minimums for freight-liners, and victims are the ones suffering from it.

Current Coverage Minimums Fail to Cover Costs for Victims

In 1985, liability insurance coverage minimums for freight trucks were set at $750,000. That amount has not changed since. This is a serious problem—so serious that a government study examined those minimums and found that, not only are they failing to keep up with the rising cost of medical care, but that, based on inflation, the amount should have been $3.2 million dollars in 2013.

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truck driver texting, Chicago personal injury lawyerDistracted driving is becoming one of the most cited causes for motor vehicle accidents in the United States with the increased use of cellphones while driving. More than nine people are killed and more than 1,153 people are injured each day in accidents caused by distracted driving. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates all drivers involved in interstate commerce or intrastate transportation of hazardous materials and inter- and intrastate Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) drivers. FMCSA describes commercial drivers as those who operate buses and large trucks, such as single unit trucks or tractor-trailer trucks. These drivers make up approximately 5.6 million drivers in the United States.

With so many commercial vehicle drivers on the roadways, FMCSA banned the use of texting for commercial truck drivers in 2010 to help prevent distracted driving. Companies are not allowed to require commercial drivers to text or call from their cell phones while driving.

The FMCSA regulations prohibit text messaging, reaching for or holding a cell phone in their hand or making phone calls that require the driver to push more than one button while they are operating commercial vehicles. If commercial drivers are found to be breaking the regulations, they can be fined up to $2,750 and have their CDL revoked for multiple offenses. The company the driver works for may also be fined up to $11,000.

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