Beginning this year, more truck drivers who are using controlled substances may be taken off the roads. Starting Jan. 1, companies that employ commercial truck drivers are required to increase their minimum annual random testing rate from 25% to 50%. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which has long sought this new regulation, says the increase in testing means that over 2 million drug tests will be done this year alone.
A lot of accidents on the roads of Louisiana are no one's fault. At least, many of them are not directly attributable to someone's negligence or malicious behavior. But, in some cases, one party or more may be clearly liable for the damage and injuries caused by a collision.
Truckers who are fatigued pose a risk to anyone who is on the road with them. Unfortunately, some think that this feeling is just part of the job and don't realize the hazards that come along with it. This might cause some of them to continue to drive even though they can't do so safely.
Truckers have to ensure the cargo they carry is properly secured. Some loads might pose challenges, but it is imperative that nothing is allowed to slide, flip or move too much because unstable loads can lead to innocent people suffering injuries or death.
On the roads in Louisiana, many different drivers can be found. When you're sharing the road with all manner of vehicles and people, it can be important to understand the risks you face. We at MGM Attorneys are here to discuss one risk in specific: the risk of truck drivers being fatigued.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development recognizes the potential of cable fences to prevent injuries and fatalities in road accidents. Unfortunately, however, there is not enough money to place them all across the state. Therefore, the department uses data on crashes and traffic volume to decide where to place the barricades.
Truck driver fatigue has long been acknowledged as a problem and a potential safety hazard for truckers and other motorists in Louisiana. A few years ago, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration developed its Hours of Service rule that identified a set of guidelines governing when truckers could drive, how long they could drive at a single time, when they must take breaks and more. That rule has created a lot of contention between the FMCSA and trucking professionals. Now, there is a proposal to amend the rule.
People in Louisiana are taught that the shoulder area along a freeway is supposed to be the safe place for them to stop if their vehicle breaks down or after they have been involved in an accident. While the shoulder might be a safer place to stop than in the middle of a traffic lane, it is far from truly safe, especially when on a busy freeway with vehicles of all sizes commonly travelling at high speeds.
Fifteen percent of fatalities in truck accidents are pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists. The odds of survival in a crash favor the driver of a semi-truck due to the superior size and mass of the vehicle. The pattern continues to hold true after a collision that took place in Louisiana last week between a semi-truck and a pedestrian. The driver sustained no injuries, in part due to proper restraints. However, the pedestrian died at the scene from injuries sustained in the crash.
Are truck drivers passing through Louisiana getting enough sleep? According to Forbes, line haul drivers all across the United States are suffering from sleep deprivation. There have been a number of legislations proposed, including the 34-hour restart, but many have failed to grab hold and truck drivers and their employers often find ways around the others.