Every year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance holds a week-long inspection spree to enforce brake safety among CMVs, especially big rigs. This spree, called Brake Safety Week, has been scheduled to take place from September 15 to 21, so truckers in Louisiana will want to make sure they are meeting the federal requirements for regular truck maintenance.
Truck drivers in Louisiana and around the country are generally paid based on the number of miles they cover and not the amount of time they spend on the road. This compensation arrangement could prompt drivers to remain behind the wheel even after fatigue has set in, which is why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has put hours-of-service regulations into place that strictly limit the length of their shifts. Groups lobbying on behalf of the logistics industry have long urged regulators to relax the rules, and recent media reports suggest that the Trump administration plans to do just that.
Motorists who collide with large commercial trucks in Louisiana could suffer serious and sometimes fatal injuries. A new report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has recorded a 10% increase in accidents with large trucks that involved injuries or deaths from 2016 to 2017. In 2017, 4,237 fatal truck crashes occurred, and another 344,000 accidents injured people. Despite this data, the Department of Transportation is reportedly taking steps to ease restrictions on hours of service rules, which could worsen the problem of truck driver fatigue.
For some people in Louisiana, truck accidents may be more serious than motor vehicle accidents involving cars. The weight of trucks means that they can cause more damage to both property and individuals. Furthermore, the process of determining who is at fault can be more complicated. However, there are steps a person can take after a truck accident to help clarify the situation.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance plans inspection sprees every year to emphasize truck maintenance and compliance with federal regulations. This year, the organization announced that inspectors will emphasize the importance of steering and suspension systems. Drivers of big rigs and buses in Louisiana can expect to undergo a Level I inspection during the 72-hour International Roadcheck inspection spree scheduled for June 4 through 6.
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.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has reported that the number of large truck crash fatalities has increased each year from 2015 to 2017 (the latest year for which statistics are available). It revealed other disturbing news at the 2019 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, so truckers and fleet owners in Louisiana may be interested.
On Feb. 4, the National Transportation Safety Board released its biannual list of safety improvement recommendations for all modes of transportation in Louisiana and the rest of the U.S. Most of the recommendations are aimed at the trucking industry, which has experienced a spike in fatal accidents over the last few years.
In Louisiana and across the U.S., more people are being killed in large-truck crashes. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reported a 9 percent increase in them in 2017 with a total of 4,761 being killed, about 1,300 of them being truckers. This is despite the fact that motor vehicle crashes in general went down 2 percent the same year.
A Jennings, Louisiana woman was killed after a wastewater truck rolled into her vehicle. State police responded to the crash on October 23.