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Groups urge controversial change to truck safety guidelines

Truckers in Louisiana know that their vehicles are not required to have crash avoidance systems. The choice is entirely up to each individual fleet owner. However, some groups are pushing for mandatory crash avoidance technology on all large commercial trucks as a way to improve safety. According to federal data, there has been a 28 percent increase in large truck fatalities from 2009 to 2016.

Those grim statistics have led safety advocates to encourage the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to listen to recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB has recommended the mandating of crash avoidance tech on at least 10 occasions since the late 1990s. However, the NHTSA has yet to propose any regulations along these lines.

Gathering crucial evidence after a truck accident

Building a personal injury claim after a commercial truck accident is no simple task, even if the fault in the accident is clear. Unlike most accidents between consumer drivers, commercial truck accidents typically involve one or more large companies, each highly motivated to avoid losing thousands of dollars to a settlement.

For this reason and several others, it is crucial for victims of commercial truck accidents to build strong claims with as much supporting evidence as they can find. The legal teams employed by large companies and their insurers are very good at finding justifications for denying settlements or minimizing them to save their bottom line. This often leaves victims with mountains of debt and lasting disabilities.

Many drivers rely too much on collision avoidance systems

Most American drivers, including those in Louisiana, don't fully understand the limitations of collision avoidance systems on new cars and trucks, according to a new study. As a result, many of them overestimate the capabilities of these technologies, potentially placing themselves and others at risk.

The study, conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, found that a significant portion of drivers don't understand that they need to stay alert and continue to practice basic safety rules when operating a vehicle with collision avoidance technologies. These include automatic emergency braking and blind spot monitoring systems and adaptive cruise control.

12,000 trucks placed out-of-service for hours, brake problems

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, or CVSA, placed almost 12,000 truck and buses out of service in Louisiana and across North America as part of an inspection blitz. The event, known as International Roadcheck, completed a total of 67,502 roadside inspections over a three-day period. During this time, 2,664 drivers and 11,897 vehicles were ordered out of service. Approximately 45,400 of these inspections were Level I inspections, the most thorough type of inspection.

According to the CVSA, the roadcheck blitz mainly focused on hours-of-service violations. Forty-three percent of the drivers who were placed out of service during the inspection was due to hours-of-service violations. The top three reasons for trucks being placed out of service were due to brake problems at 28.4 percent, tire and wheel violations at 19.1 percent and brake adjustment issues at 16.3 percent. Driver out-of-service violations included hours of service, incorrect class license and falsifying duty records.

Staying safe on the road when school is in session

When school is in session, more buses appear on the road and children are more likely to dart out into streets. However, motorists can help keep the roads in Louisiana safe by following a few tips.

For example, people should avoid all distracting activities like calling, texting, eating, or fidgeting with the radio while behind the wheel. Drivers should also watch out for children in school zones, at bus stops and by crosswalks. They must obey the speed limits and make their turns carefully.

In truck crashes, driver fault might not be the main factor

Statistically speaking, truck accidents might not be the greatest threat on the roads around New Orleans. The greater volume of cars makes crashes between smaller vehicles more likely. But when they happen, collisions involving commercial vehicles tend to be more serious. Trucks are bigger and heavier. They also travel at posted speeds or better, making them formidable destructive forces in a crash.

Besides the increased risk of greater injury, victims also need to be aware that pursuing claims for compensation and recovery after truck collisions is more complicated because of many factors. While personal vehicle crashes typically involve just the drivers and their insurers, the list of potential defendants in truck collisions is more expansive. They could include:

Top 6 things to do after a car accident

A car accident brings your whole day to a halt. Unfortunately, the aftermath of a crash can last longer. It’s critical you receive compensation for car repairs and medical bills, but dealing with insurance is difficult. Following proper procedure is important for protecting your physical and financial well-being.

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