Louisiana commercial truck drivers and their employers should know that fatal large truck crashes are on the rise. Between 2009 and 2017, there was a 28 percent increase across the country. A total of 4,102 people died in these crashes in 2017, 68 percent being occupants of other vehicles and 14 percent being pedestrians, motorcyclists, or bicyclists. As a solution, some truck safety groups are recommending the use of forward collision warning and mitigation systems.
Drowsy driving is behind one in five road accidents. Lack of sleep affects concentration, and remaining awake for 18 hours or more can impair one to the same extent as a driver who exceeds the legal limit for alcohol. Louisiana residents should know that Ford has created a special Sleep Suit to give drivers a first-hand impression of how dangerous it is to drive drowsy. This coincided with the designation of March 15 as "World Sleep Day."
A study published in JAMA Psychiatry links mild traumatic brain injuries with an increased chance of mental health issues. Doctors in Louisiana, as elsewhere, may want to ensure that their patients are monitored for many months after incurring mTBIs as this can ensure the best recovery possible.
Louisiana partially restricts cellphone use by drivers. Novice drivers must forgo the use of cellphones behind the wheel entirely, and texting while driving is prohibited for everyone. The state had the 15th highest rate in the nation for distracted driving deaths, according to a study by an online financial advice company. Overall, the study found that strong policies against using cellphones in vehicles correlated on average with lower numbers of accidents due to distraction.
While traffic deaths in the U.S. declined slightly in 2018, the overall number remains much higher than it was four years ago. For the past three years, the figure has risen to over 40,000 per year. A few reasons have been given for the increase. By taking the necessary precautions, drivers in Louisiana could help reverse the tide.