If you drive south of Edwardsville for about 170 miles, you will come to Metropolis, Illinois. The seat of Massac County was the site of a violent tractor-trailer crash on an interstate highway that left three people dead and six more hospitalized.
The eight-vehicle accident yesterday took place in the early afternoon on I-24. Officials said that three children were among the vehicle occupants in the chain-reaction crash. A news report stated that an 18-wheeler failed to slow for traffic stopped on the interstate and slammed into a line of seven vehicles.
The Illinois State Police said a total of 13 people were involved in the chain-reaction crashes.
Officials have not yet stated a reason for the tragedy.
We do know that in similar crashes involving tractor-trailers that fail to slow for traffic that a couple of factors figure prominently: fatigue and distraction.
In some cases, the truck driver has failed to stop and get adequate sleep during a long haul. The Centers for Disease Control says on its website that drowsiness has a three-pronged effect on drivers:
- Making them less able to focus on the road and traffic
- Slowing reaction times in events requiring sudden braking or steering
- Affecting the driver’s judgment and decision-making processes
Researchers have repeatedly demonstrated that distracted driving is a factor in an increasing number of crashes. If a vehicle is moving at 60 mph on an interstate, and the driver looks at his or her phone for just three seconds, their eyes are off of the road and traffic as their vehicle travels 264 feet.
Lives can be altered forever or ended in those moments.
If you or a loved one has been harmed in a crash caused by a drowsy or distracted driver, you can pursue justice with the help of an attorney experienced in personal injury and wrongful death litigation.