Experienced New Orleans Truck Accident Attorney Near You
In 2018, there were 4,084 total Louisiana commercial vehicle crashes involving buses and large trucks. Of these crashes, there were 94 fatal crashes, 1,551 injury crashes, and 2439 property damage only crashes. East Baton Rouge Parish had the most bus and truck crashes (356) followed by Calcasieu (304), Orleans (286), Lafayette (210), Jefferson (182), and Caddo (183).
Driving Safety Tips
Due to the size of the trucks and busses, these crashes are more likely to result in injury and death as compared to car crashes. Federal and Louisiana regulations govern trucking and cover areas such as hours of the drivers and equipment safety. The trucking companies are required to record and keep this information. Poor equipment and driver fatigue can cause truck and bus crashes, and careful study of the trucking company records may be needed to determine negligence.
- Be extra alert as you approach a large truck. They behave very differently from cars.
- Avoid blind spots around trucks. If you can’t see a truck’s side mirrors, the truck driver can’t see you. One-third of all crashes between large trucks and cars take place in the blind spots around a truck.
- Do not pass a truck on the right while the truck is turning right. Trucks must swing wide to the left to negotiate right turns safely, as the rear wheels follow a shorter path than the front wheels.
- Do not cut in front of any large vehicle, including a truck or a bus. Since they require much more distance to stop in comparison to cars, forcing a large vehicle to stop quickly can result in a fatal accident.
- Use the proper procedure to pass a large truck or bus on the highway. Accelerate slightly and maintain a consistent speed while passing. Wait until you can see the entire cab in your rear-view mirror before signaling and pulling in front of it.
- Observe a truck’s turn signals before trying to pass it. If the truck appears to be starting a left turn, check which way the driver is signaling before passing the truck on the right.
- Give trucks at least four to six seconds of space in wet conditions and at highway speeds.
- Call authorities if you see unsafe driving.
- Do not cut off a truck in traffic or on the highway to reach your exit or turn.
If you need help or have any questions about your Louisiana truck or bus accident, call Louisiana Personal Injury Lawyer Charles Lavis at 866-558-9151 or submit your inquiry online. Please be advised that you may be facing important legal deadlines, so don’t delay in contacting our New Orleans Truck Accident Attorney.
New Orleans Trucking Accident Lawyer
Accidents Involving Tired Truck Drivers
There are federal regulations to protect you from the dangers of tired truck driving. The Code of Federal Regulations limits the amount of time that a driver can spend behind the wheel to 14 hours in one shift. And this is after spending 10 hours taken off duty. There is also a stipulation that during those 14 hours, drivers may only spend 11 hours operating their trucks. Even still, many truck drivers end up breaking these rules due to pressure to make deliveries on time. If they do not make it to their destination on time, their livelihood will suffer and so truck drivers are more likely than the general population to drive while they are tired due to the time-sensitive nature of their job.
It takes a great level of skill and alertness in order to safely drive a tractor-trailer. When drivers get behind the wheel without having slept in at least 20 hours, it is the same as if they are driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08. In other words, driving while fatigued can be every bit as dangerous as operating a truck while drunk. Our tired trucking lawyer in Louisiana at Lavis Law has seen numerous instances in which truck drivers continued on, thinking that they were completely fine, and ended up critically injuring other motorists.
The statistics about tired truck driving
There are 894 miles of interstate highways in Louisiana along with a countless number of other roads. While passenger cars make up a large portion of the vehicles using these roads, commercial trucks take up their share of the highways as well. There are approximately 32,000 heavy trucks registered in the state. This does not include the thousands of out-of-state trucks that drive in and through Louisiana each day.
These truck drivers are often pressed to meet a delivery schedule that is imposed on them. When they do that, they are putting themselves and everyone around them in danger.
The dangers of tired trucking are borne out in the statistics. Approximately 13% of truck accidents in the United States involve a truck driver who is fatigued behind the wheel. Truck drivers are more likely than the general population to drive while they are tired due to the time-sensitive nature of their job. If they do not make it to their destination on time, their livelihood will suffer.
When drivers get behind the wheel without having slept in at least 20 hours, it is the same as if they are driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08. In other words, driving while fatigued can be every bit as dangerous as operating a truck while drunk. You can see from the statistics alone why it is critical that truck drivers get a proper amount of rest before driving.
Why drowsy truck driving endangers you
As a driver, your life is literally at risk based on the choices that truckers make. Whether they get the proper sleep and eat the right foods can mean the difference in whether you reach your own destination safely. If they are drowsy behind the wheel, you can end up in danger, even though you had no say in their decision to drive while they were tired.
By their nature, trucks are dangerous vehicles. Even when empty, the average weight of a tractor-trailer is 35,000 pounds. When it is carrying a full load, this expands to 80,000 pounds. When you are in an accident with a heavy truck that is many times the size of your car, your chances of walking away from the wreck are small. At the very minimum, you are at risk of a serious injury.
Drowsy driving endangers you by making truck drivers less safe behind the wheel of their vehicle. When they are tired, they aren’t able to control their trucks. It takes a great level of skill and alertness in order to safely drive a tractor-trailer. This is true even under ideal circumstances. The need for intense focus is heightened even more when the weather is bad.
There are a number of things that can happen when a truck driver is tired. Here are some of them:
- Drivers can fail to safely apply their brakes in time, increasing the risks that they will rear-end the vehicle in front of them.
- They are more likely to lose control of their big rig, leading to an overturned truck that then gets hit by other cars unable to avoid the tractor-trailer in the middle of the road.
- Drivers have a greater chance of falling asleep behind the wheel, which means that their out-of-control trucks will hit other vehicles in their path.
- Fatigued driving often means that truck drivers cannot react in time to what is happening around them.
The scary thing for you as a motorist is that fatigued truck drivers often do not even know how much of a danger that they present to you. When they are tired and pressing through to make it to their destination, they may not even know how tired and impaired they are. The tired trucking lawyer in Louisiana at Lavis Law has seen numerous instances in which truck drivers continued on, thinking that they were completely fine, and ended up critically injuring other motorists.
Federal rules about tired trucking
There are federal regulations to protect you from exactly these dangers. The Code of Federal Regulations will limit the amount of time that a driver can spend behind the wheel. Drivers must limit their shifts to 14 hours. This is after spending 10 hours taken off duty. Even during those 14 hours, drivers may only spend 11 hours operating their trucks.
Some trucks have systems that can monitor drivers’ compliance with these rules. Even still, many truck drivers end up breaking these rules due to pressure to make deliveries on time.
The federal rules exist for a reason. Policymakers have studied the issue and decided that exceeding these limits would pose a danger to everyone else on the road. Eleven hours is the maximum that operators could drive before they begin to experience some fatigue as described above.
What To Do If You Have Been Injured In A New Orleans Trucking Accident
If you are involved in an accident involving an 18-wheeler or some other type of commercial truck, the first thing to do is to seek medical attention if necessary and call the authorities so that they can assess the accident scene and prepare a full accident report. At the scene of the accident, you’ll also want to get all information from the trucker about his vehicle, insurance, and the company that they work for. Make sure you contact your insurance company to let them know of your accident. The next step is to contact an experienced truck accident lawyer in your area. They will be able to assist you with the investigation element of the accident and help you handle figuring out liability and holding the trucking company responsible as well as the truck driver if necessary.
Who Is Responsible In A New Orleans Trucking Accident?
The obvious answer to this question is the truck driver, however, New Orleans trucking accidents can be somewhat complex and involve many more parties than simply the driver of the truck. When it comes to New Orleans trucking accidents, depending on the circumstances of the accident, any of the following could be held responsible:
- The Driver
- The Trucking Company
- Truck Loaders
- The Truck Owner (if this is different than the driver)
- The Truck Manufacturers
- Truck and Trailer Maintenance Company
When you contact an experienced New Orleans truck accident lawyer they will be able to make sure to include all involved parties so that you receive the maximum compensation possible for your recovery.
Contact an Experienced New Orleans Truck Accident Lawyer
If you have been the victim of tired trucking in New Orleans, you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation. You should contact a tired trucking attorney in New Orleans to learn more about how you can file a claim with the insurance company or file a lawsuit. Many defendants will end up settling claims before the case goes to a jury because of the possibility for an award of sizable damages. Contact Lavis Law today for assistance with your case.
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