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Why do rollover truck accidents happen in Illinois?

Tanker trucks are sometimes involved in rollover accidents, which can be a serious hazard to other cars driving behind or next to those vehicles, as an out of control tanker can quickly cause a pileup. In order to better understand why these accidents happen and to keep the roads safe, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has investigated the causes for these accidents.

It may not surprise you to learn that, as with many crashes, human error is a huge contributing factor. According to the FMCSA, it comes into play in one form or another in 78 percent of these accidents.

One thing that can cause a rollover crash, for example, is when a driver makes a sudden movement on the highway. This can throw the truck off balance, especially if it is top heavy, and it can go over. Drivers must avoid sudden lane changes and other such movements, instead planning their movements well in advance and then making them in a slow, controlled fashion.

Another reason for rollover accidents is when drivers take corners too quickly. Even if they are operating within the speed limit, drivers may need to use extra caution on turns and corners. With both liquid and solid loads, shifting the weight too quickly to the outside of the truck can cause its own weight to pull it over.

If a semi-truck is near you on the road and it overturns, there may be little you can do to avoid a catastrophic accident. When this happens, you must know what rights you have in Illinois.

Source: FMCSA, "Cargo Tank Truck Rollover Prevention" accessed Feb. 25, 2015

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