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How does Illinois reduce truck accidents in oversize loads?

It goes without saying that commercial tractor-trailers are inherently dangerous due to their enormous size and weight. However, there are also some instances where commercial trucks are allowed a special permission to operate in configurations that make them even heavier and bigger than usual.

The Illinois Department of Transportation issues special permits that allow some nontraditional cargo to be transported throughout the state under tightly regulated restrictions. These include large industrial components, pre-manufactured homes and other oversize cargo loads that could not otherwise be reasonably transported. The following examples are some of the rules included in the application for the special permit:

-- All oversize loads must display an amber light when moving. The amber light must also oscillate, rotate or flash. If the load blocks visibility of the amber light from behind the vehicle, then another amber light must be displayed at the vehicle's rear.

-- Oversize loads are not permitted to move while highway conditions are under inclement weather. The Illinois State Police is the final arbiter as to which rain, snow, fog or ice conditions create unsafe current travel conditions due to low visibility.

-- Liability insurance coverage in the amount of $500,000 is required of the permittee for any load in excess of 110 feet.

-- Any oversize load that exceeds 18 feet in height, exceeds 18 feet in width or exceeds 200 feet in length must also be accompanied by Illinois State Police escorts.

The unfortunate reality is that even despite Illinois DOT's extreme precautionary requirements, truck accidents can still occur in our state. If you are an Illinois resident who has been injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to seek compensation following a collision. A civil lawsuit against those individuals responsible for your injuries may be your best way to recover medical costs and lost wages associated with your accident.

Source: Illinois Department of Transportation, "Special Vehicle Permit Movement Restrictions" Nov. 20, 2014

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