A previous post on this blog discusses the serious hazard driver fatigue causes on Louisiana's highways and other roads. For instance, a fatigued truck driver can start taking on the driving of habits of someone who is drunk or buzzed. Not surprisingly, fatigued driving is a contributing factor to fatal accidents, including fatal truck accidents.
Louisiana drivers of automobiles, SUVs and pickups must share the roads with tractor-trailers. These big 18-wheelers can present a real danger to those in smaller vehicles. When a collision occurs, it's almost always the truck that wins. Remembering a few basic safety tips can help drivers of smaller vehicles avoid a potentially deadly semi truck crash.
One of the most horrific types of accidents involving semi trucks is the underride crash. This is a collision in which an automobile slides under the rear or side of the truck's trailer. In some cases the roof of the car is sheared off. Occupants of the car often suffer serious head injury or are killed by scalping or decapitation. Louisiana readers may be interested to learn how federal trucking regulations aim to prevent these tragedies.
A semi truck collision can result in serious injury to people in the other vehicle. If the crash was the result of truck driver negligence, those who are injured have the right to sue for compensation. That's what two Louisiana residents are doing after they were injured in a tractor-trailer crash in Lafayette Parish.
Louisiana motorists tend to assume that over-the-road truckers are all responsible professionals who pride themselves on driving safely. Most of them probably are, but many truckers put other motorists at risk by staying on the road when they are too tired to operate their rigs safely. Sometimes they do so because of pressure from their employer to make a delivery on time.
An accident involving a semi truck and a car or pickup can result in serious injury, permanent disability or death for the people in the smaller vehicle. To reduce the risk of such collisions, federal trucking regulations require trucks to meet certain minimum safety requirements. In Louisiana, these regulations are enforced in part through a system of roadside inspections. The inspections are funded in part by grants from the federal Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program.
At any given hour of the day or night, large numbers of tractor-trailer trucks are barreling down Louisiana highways. These trucks are vital to the state's economy; they transport our raw materials and manufactured goods to where they are needed. And the trucking industry provides a lot of jobs in our state.
With trucks being as prominent as they are on the roads in Louisiana, there is a constant concern that there will be a truck accident. Considering their large size and the speeds and distances they travel, these crashes can lead to severe injuries and even deaths. While a truck company is supposed to make certain that the drivers are fit to drive, the reality is that much of the oversight is lacking and is dependent on the driver's honesty about a condition. Therefore, it is difficult to determine whether a driver is being upfront about any possible medical issue that can pose a danger.
A collision with a semi truck can be catastrophic for anyone in a car, pickup or SUV. The smaller vehicle is no match for a massive tractor-trailer. These accidents often result in serious injury or death. Tragically, this was the case in a crash that killed an 18-year-old woman on Interstate 10 near Breaux Bridge in 2014. Now the woman's mother has filed a lawsuit, naming the truck's owner as well as the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.
When a semi truck collision in Louisiana results in serious injury or death, a police investigation will typically be undertaken to determine the cause. In many cases, the lawyers for victims or their families will also undertake their own investigations. These investigations often reveal the cause of the wreck to be truck driver negligence, unsafe policies of the truck company or negligent truck maintenance.