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Safe Driver Week focuses on commercial trucking industry

Commercial truck drivers in Louisiana and throughout the country will be the focus of a safety initiative during the week of October 16. Dubbed Safe Driver Week, the purpose is to raise awareness of truck driver safety and focus on enforcing laws.

Distracted driving, speeding, improper lane change, seat belt safety and failure to obey traffic control devices are among the behaviors law enforcement will be looking for. The week is sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and is supported by various law enforcement agencies.

The FMCSA did a study that found the main cause of crashes for their category of vehicle to be the commercial truck drivers and passenger-vehicle drivers. Among passenger-vehicle crashes, 93 percent were due to driver behavior while almost 88 percent of drivers behind the wheel of commercial trucks caused accidents as a result of their behavior.

Truck driver fatigue, drivers under the influence and a number of other actions may result in serious accidents involving buses, 18-wheelers and similar vehicles. Injuries to others who are on the road may be catastrophic because of the size of the vehicles. A person who is seriously injured in such an accident might want to discuss filing a lawsuit against the truck driver as well as the driver's employer. In a civil suit, the burden of proof on a plaintiff is lower than that on the prosecution in a criminal case, and thus even if criminal charges are unsuccessful or there are none brought, a civil lawsuit may still be successful.

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