Commercial motor vehicles may spend a significant amount of time on the road. Drivers operating everything from tractor-trailers to delivery vans could drive for hours and find themselves dealing with many “near-miss” situations. Illinois CMV operators might one day end up colliding with another vehicle and suffer a horrific crash. The aftermath may lead to questions about whether the collision was preventable or non-preventable.

Preventable and non-preventable collisions

The names tell the tale when discussing preventable vs. non-preventable collisions. A truck driver who takes to the road intoxicated and ignores traffic laws may go through a stop sign and cause a preventable accident. Often, preventable accidents prove less challenging than non-preventable ones.

With non-preventable accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) defines these collisions as ones outside the commercial driver’s control. A tractor-trailer may stop at a red light and get hit by a distracted driver. Such an incident appears outside the commercial driver’s ability to control the crash.

Several other examples appear on the FMCSA list for non-preventable accidents. These qualifying incidents include instances where the vehicle hit an animal that jumped out on the road or when the driver had a medical emergency, such as a heart attack behind the wheel.

Legal actions after a truck incident

With an avoidable accident, those victims hit by a commercial vehicle might sue the trucking company and the driver. With non-preventable accidents, the truck driver and other victims could sue the person responsible for a crash. So, if the fault for the collision falls on an intoxicated SUV driver, that person could face a lawsuit. Investigations after truck accidents could reveal who was at fault for the collision.

Whether an accident was preventable or non-preventable, someone could be at fault for the disaster. If negligence caused the disaster, the negligent party may have to pay a substantial judgment.

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