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Large truck crashes

As many citizens of Louisiana may already know, large trucks can be hazardous to motorists in smaller vehicles. From 2009 to 2007, big rig crashes claimed 35,882 lives. This increase comes even though the number of miles driven by these trucks has decreased.

There are many factors that contribute to this problem, according to safety advocates. Researchers with Road Safe America say that most states with the worst big rig fatality rates have max speed limits of 70 mph. This is often too high for vehicles that can reach a weight of 80,000 pounds easy. Big rigs need a much longer distance than smaller vehicles to come to a complete stop.

Distracted drivers are everywhere on Louisiana roads

New Orleans seems to be home to the perfect combination of factors for incredibly dangerous driving. The city is known as a seasonal and cultural drinking destination, especially during Mardi Gras. The tendency of tourists to overindulge while visiting can lead to people who are both unfamiliar with the roads and under the influence of drugs or alcohol driving on the streets.

Those aren't the only risks. There is also the serious concern of drowsy driving from people who are too tired to be behind the wheel, as well as distracted driving. Tourists and locals alike may feel the need to respond to text messages or emails while driving. Some might even use social media to show off their current location.

Averting the widespread problem of drowsy driving

Drowsy driving is almost unavoidable for most drivers in Louisiana, even when they have the best intentions. Part of the reason is a lack of comprehensive public transit systems, but a lot has to do with human negligence. Many do not get the recommended seven hours of sleep every night, nor do they grasp the proper value of sleep.

The National Sleep Foundation says that being awake for 24 hours is like having a blood alcohol content of .10. The use of prescription sleep aids and other drowsiness-inducing drugs can compound the problem. Sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea may leave drivers drowsy even when they sleep seven or more hours.

Medication can lower car crash risk for ADHD patients

It's generally recognized that most new drivers in Louisiana can improve their skills with practice. The same rule applies to drivers diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, a recent analysis of 2.3 million adult drivers with ADHD in the U.S. shows that medication prescribed for this neurodevelopmental disorder could help against the perils of distracted driving. Medication along with behavioral therapy may assist these drivers with judgment calls and impulse control, which are two common symptoms of ADHD.

The study looked at data from health insurance claims made from 2005 through 2014. All the drivers had an ADHD diagnosis and were over 18 years old with an average age of 32. A full 83.9 percent, or 1.9 million, of the people researched had filled a prescription for ADHD medication. It was determined that those drivers who took their ADHD prescription were involved in significantly fewer car accidents than drivers who did not take their medication.

Evaluating the causes of trucking accidents

Louisiana residents who have questions about compensation after a crash involving a truck should remember the different causes of commercial truck accidents. Over the past decade, the number of accidents involving trucks has gone up by roughly 20 percent. The Large Truck Crash Causation Study, a collaboration between the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), sought to determine the most common causes of these accidents and discovered that the majority are caused by the driver.

The study examined data from 120,000 fatal commercial truck crashes that took place over a 33-month span. Nearly 75 percent of the deadly crashes involved at least one other automobile. Truck drivers were found to responsible for 68,000 of these crashes. For example, the truck driver's decision-making caused 30,000, or 38 percent, of these fatal crashes. Either the truck driver was speeding, following other vehicles too closely, not checking his or her blind spots or driving too fast in inclement weather.

The most frequent factors in motorcycle accidents

Motorcyclists face unique challenges in Louisiana and the rest of the U.S. Since motorcycles are less crash-worthy than motor vehicles, motorcyclists are more likely to die in collisions. Crash rates also vary depending on economic factors and how safety programs are implemented. However, there are certain types of crashes that are more common with motorcyclists.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, more than half of motorcycle accidents involve drivers over 40. Young and inexperienced motorcyclists are also frequently to blame. For example, they are at a higher risk for making mistakes in the dark and in bad weather.

How underride guards could save your life in a semitruck crash

Have you ever noticed the way a semitruck trailer sits high off the ground? In fact, the trailer is positioned perfectly so that the bottom half of the average motor vehicle would slip right under it while sheering off the top half of the car. This poses a serious threat to any car that inadvertently T-bones a semitruck.

Imagine if you were traveling in a vehicle and a semitruck pulled out in front of your path. Suddenly, your vehicle would be trapped under the trailer of the semitruck and you and your passengers could be decapitated as a result.

Automatic emergency braking accident reduction

New cars sold in Louisiana may come with modern safety features such as automatic emergency braking systems, or AEB. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that AEB greatly reduces the rate of accidents involving injuries.

The study looked at 10 models of General Motors vehicles from the 2013-2015 model years. Researchers examined police reports to determine the frequency of accidents involving vehicles with automatic emergency braking systems.

New study on drowsy driving turns up startling statistics

Drowsy driving is an issue across Louisiana and the rest of America. The U.S. Department of Transportation found in a survey that one in three adult U.S. drivers get under seven hours of sleep per night (the recommended amount is seven to nine hours). Drowsy driving is behind an estimated 7 percent of all motor vehicle crashes and 16 percent of all fatal traffic accidents.

A recent study published in the journal SLEEP has turned up some startling statistics about drowsy motorists. Researchers used U.S. DOT data on 5,470 crashes, which included in-depth investigations and even first-hand interviews with some of the drivers who caused these accidents.

Limo crash leads to many questions

Those who travel in a limo expect that they will have safe transportation to wherever they need to go. However, Louisiana residents may have heard about the limo crash in New York that killed a total of 20 people. According to the state's governor, the vehicle in question failed an inspection and should not have been in service at the time of the accident.

In New York, vehicles that seat 10 or more people must be inspected by the Department of Transportation. Drivers must also be licensed, and they need to meet federal standards if they drive across state lines or into Canada. Federal requirements include the need for additional records as well as medical exams for drivers. If a driver wishes to operate a vehicle that seats nine or more passengers, he or she must have a commercial driver's license.

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