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Strategies to avoid being in a car accident

In 2018, there were roughly 40,000 traffic fatalities throughout the country. There were also 4.5 million traffic-related injuries, which meant that a person was hurt in a car crash every seven seconds on average. While car accidents can take a physical and emotional toll on Louisiana residents who are in one, there are ways to minimize the chances of being in one. For instance, it can be a good idea to keep at least one hand on the steering wheel while driving.

Ideally, an individual will keep two hands on the wheel while making a turn or avoiding an obstacle on the road. Furthermore, individuals should never drive after consuming alcohol or other impairing substances. Drunk driving kills about 10,000 people per year, and those who drive while impaired could go to jail or prison. Properly maintaining a vehicle could help to avoid rollover or other types of accidents.

Side guards would reduce number of dangerous truck accidents

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that 4,102 fatalities resulted from large truck crashes in Louisiana and across the country during 2017. The majority of the people who died were not riding in the large trucks involved but rather were other drivers, bicyclists or pedestrians. The most common fatality accidents involving large trucks happen when a person is crushed in the space between the front wheels and the rear wheels of the semi-truck.

Preventing side impacts with large trucks will lead to many lives being saved. One method that some are calling for is requiring truckers and trucking companies to install side guards on semi-trucks that have high clearance above the ground. Side guards were made mandatory in the United Kingdom, and cyclist deaths dropped by 61%, and pedestrian deaths dropped by 20%. The U.S. has been slow, though, to mandate side guards for large trucks.

Pedestrian safety is a priority in New Orleans

One beauty of living in New Orleans is that there are many places where you can walk. The downside is that drivers in the city aren't always as cautious as they should be when around pedestrians. It is up to everyone, including all drivers and pedestrians, to keep the roads safe.

Some areas of the city have higher rates of pedestrians. While some of these only allow limited vehicle traffic, there is still a chance of injuries when automobiles are allowed through them.

Drowsy driving may happen more often than you think

Drowsy driving is a growing concern that may cause many car accidents in the United States. Government estimates suggested that fatigued drivers were involved in two percent of accidents at the most. However, an AAA study found that drowsy driving might be involved in 9.5 percent of all accidents instead. Louisiana residents might like to know more about the hazards of drowsy driving.

If the findings from AAA are correct, drowsy driving would contribute to more car accidents than drunk driving. Like when impaired, a person has dulled reflexes and trouble focusing when driving while fatigued. Unlike drunk driving, there is no test that measures whether a driver was tired. This is one reason why the amount of drowsy driving crashes could be under-reported.

Subaru Crosstrek involved in more crashes than any other car

Insurify, the vehicle insurance comparison site with a database of more than 1.6 million insurance claims, has come out with a list of 10 vehicles that are involved in the most accidents in Louisiana and the rest of the U.S. At the top of the list is the Subaru Crosstrek.

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety had given the 2019 Crosstrek the highest possible safety grade. Fortunately, many of the accidents that the Crosstrek is involved in are minor. The vehicle is also fuel-efficient and not so costly. Still, Insurify called it the most accident-prone vehicle as 25.81% Crosstreks have been in accidents.

How commercial truck safety tech pays off

Among the six research topics that the American Transportation Research Institute considers a priority for 2019, one is a revision of the cost-benefit analysis concerning truck safety technology. Truckers in Louisiana may have heard of or had first-hand experience with safety devices like lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking and collision mitigation systems.

The return on investment of truck safety technology can be hard to determine because it requires factoring in the cost of accidents that never happened. Therefore, this is where some estimates can come in handy. According to estimates from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the cost of the average truck crash among all vehicle types is nearly $150,000.

Bill proposed that mandates automatic emergency braking on trucks

Just as members of the Truck Safety Coalition were pushing for stricter truck safety regulations, lawmakers introduced a bill that, if passed, would take one important step toward this goal. Truckers and truck fleet owners in Louisiana should know that the bill, H.R. 3773, will require all new commercial trucks to have automatic emergency braking installed.

The bill is called the Safe Roads Act of 2019 and will direct the Secretary of Transportation in creating a new standard regarding AEB. This standard will be meant to cover all AEB use while trucks are in operation. Automatic emergency braking is a device that can apply the brakes for truckers who fail to react in time to warnings of an impending collision. The feature costs around $500.

3 reasons you want an attorney to review an insurance settlement

Car insurance is something you pay for but hope to never need to use. Unfortunately, some people have to make major claims eventually against their own policies or the policies of other drivers who causes accidents. Regardless of which driver is responsible for a collision, insurance companies will play an important role in handling the medical expenses and property damages that result from the crash.

Still, quite a few people who have diligently paid for their policies their entire lives and who drive safely may find themselves dealing with insurance adjusters that don't respect the real costs of the crash.

Driving time regulations to change

People in Louisiana who are concerned about road safety may be interested to learn that the Department of Transportation intends to relax federal regulations regarding the number of hours truck drivers can be behind the wheel. The trucking industry has been appealing for less stringent federal rules regarding how long truck drivers can remain on the road without rest. However, safety advocates assert that loosening the federal regulations will make them weaker and result in safety hazards caused by fatigued drivers.

Long-haul truck drivers are currently limited to driving 11 hours within a 14-hour period of being on duty. The drivers are required to have 10 straight hours off duty before their on-duty period restarts. Truck drivers who intend to drive in excess of eight hours are also required to have a 30-minute break before the eight hours end.

Traffic fatalities decrease slightly year over year

Louisiana motorists may be pleased to hear that a preliminary report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated that the total number of traffic deaths nationwide dropped by 1% during 2018. With a few exceptions, the number of car accident fatalities has declined steadily year over year for decades, but the data at the end of 2016 seemed to be cause for concern that U.S. roadways were growing more dangerous. Then 2017 saw a 2% drop in the number of traffic deaths and the NHTSA report suggests that a similar but smaller decline occurred in 2018.

The agency estimated that 36,750 people were killed in traffic accidents in 2018, which would represent a drop of around 1% when compared to the 2017 total of 37,133. The NHTSA also raised concerns about the safety of pedestrians and cyclists and projected that pedestrian fatalities rose by 4% in 2018 and that bicycle related fatalities rose by 10%. The increased danger to pedestrians may be the result of more people moving into cities.

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