With 2019 seeing the highest number of truck-related accidents in 30 years, it’s becoming more and more dangerous to drive a commercial truck. Drivers in Louisiana should know that while traffic fatalities fell from 36,560 in 2018 to 36,120 in 2019, the number of deaths related to large-truck crashes rose 1%. By large is meant anything over 10,000 pounds, but long-haul truck drivers make up the majority of drivers in this case.
Significant factors in truck accidents
Driver negligence is behind most crashes, and truckers can engage in negligent behavior just as easily as passenger vehicle drivers. Truckers may drive distracted, such as while using their phone or eating and drinking. Even listening to loud music can pose a distraction.
Truckers are also susceptible to drowsiness because of their long hours. Many exacerbate the issue by not taking as many breaks as they should. Illness and alcohol abuse increase drowsiness, too. Other factors in crashes range from speeding to driving too fast in urban areas and on slippery roads.
What drivers and truck fleets can do
Passenger vehicle drivers can stay safe by staying within a trucker’s vision and not doing anything sudden or unsafe like cutting in front of a truck. Employers can ensure safety by continually monitoring their drivers for signs of drug and alcohol use and perhaps by installing in-cab cameras.
What you could do after an accident
Truck collisions caused by a trucker’s negligence could lead to a personal injury claim. You may still be suffering from the long-term effects of your injuries, so it may be wise to have a lawyer assist with your case. Most personal injury lawyers have third parties they can rely on to investigate the crash, flesh out the medical side of things and so on. Lawyers may also handle settlement negotiations.