Drivers across the United States may soon experience heightened traffic safety procedures. From traffic enforcement to education campaigns, the program is geared toward combating unsafe driving behavior and reducing the rate of accidents. This initiative is part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Administration's Operation Safe Driver Week, which lasts from October 16 to October 22.
Louisiana drivers need to be careful at all times, and certainly during Memorial Day weekend. The National Safety Council is estimating that 439 people will die and an additional 50,500 people will be seriously injured around the country in a motor vehicle accident some time during the Memorial Day three-day weekend.
Drivers in Louisiana are undoubtedly aware of the number of large trucks with which they share the road. Their prominence often obscures the dangers of being in a truck accident, but it is a constant concern nonetheless. Given the large size of these vehicles and the numerous factors that can cause a semi-truck crash, it is important that those who are injured in a truck accident know what to do after it has happened. Such is the case with one particular man who was injured in a trucking accident.
The release of trucking accident statistics has members of the industry in Louisiana and around the country scratching their heads to make sense out of them. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the number of trucks involved in fatal accidents in 2014 decreased by 5 percent from the preceding year. However, the number of non-fatal injuries increased by more than 20 percent over the same period.
Getting involved in a New Orleans wreck with a commercial vehicle, like an 18-wheeler or semi truck, could have serious implications. Due to the sheer size and weight of trucks, even low-speed collisions may result in severe damage or life-threatening injuries. Many victims confront hurdles because they're not only suing individual drivers. When you go up against freight carriers and similar companies, you will likely face an army of lawyers whose best interests involves denying fault at all costs.
Louisiana motorists may be dismayed to learn that improvements to road safety regulations proposed by agencies like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration can sometimes take years to implement. The approval process can be frustratingly slow, and the Department of Transportation releases an update each month that contains revised publication and implementation dates for pending regulatory changes. A 2016 update reveals that two long awaited regulatory improvements have been delayed once again.
Louisiana motorists may be shocked to learn that a repeat-DUI offender who is also a commercial truck driver was recently arrested again, this time for driving his commercial truck with a blood alcohol concentration that was more than seven times higher than the legal limit. The incident happened in Illinois on March 21.
Oversight of trucking safety on the roads in Louisiana and throughout the nation has become a major concern as serious accidents draw attention to the dangers of driving these large vehicles while experiencing significant levels of fatigue. Mandated out-of-service periods have been implemented to provide truck drivers with adequate time for rest, but the quality of rest obtained during such periods can be difficult to monitor or regulate. A federal regulation requires that drivers not operate commercial vehicles while impaired by causes such as fatigue or illness. However, enforcement can be subjective.
Louisiana road users may be happy to hear that, on March 4, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposed a rule that would increase the amount of training prospective truckers would have to undergo before they could receive their commercial driver's license. The training would include 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training.
Louisiana residents may recall January 2014 media accounts about a fiery accident near Chicago involving an out-of-control semi-tractor trailer and emergency vehicles that had stopped to render assistance to a disabled vehicle. The accident claimed the life of a 39-year-old Illinois Tollway worker and left a state trooper seriously injured, and it was later revealed that the trucking company involved had a long history of safety violations.