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.
According to AAA, distracted driving has now become the single greatest threat on the road. In a survey conducted by the auto association, 88 percent of respondents said that they believe distracted driving is on the rise. Truck drivers and fleet managers in Louisiana will especially want to be aware of the dangers because they work in an industry full of pressures related to the "productivity culture."
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance held its annual International Roadcheck from June 5 to 7. The results of that roadcheck are now out, so truckers in Louisiana may want to know what the most frequently cited violations were.
Recently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released a new report highlighting its plans to reform its struggling Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program. The report was created in order to comply with a 2015 order from Congress to better identify the unsafe trucking companies operating on roads in Louisiana and across the United States.
The people most at risk of injury in truck accidents on Louisiana roadways are those traveling in smaller vehicles like passenger cars. A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicated that 69 percent of victims in accidents involving large trucks were occupants of passenger vehicles; only 16 percent of victims were occupants of trucks. Even in cases where the drivers of passenger cars are driving safely, they can still be forced into an accident if the driver of a large truck is not paying attention or is otherwise not utilizing a reasonable standard of care.
Drivers in New Orleans can face a real threat from commercial trucks whose braking systems are not properly maintained. Due to the weight and mass of this type of vehicle, poorly maintained brakes can lead to devastating crashes and accompanying severe injuries. The risk posed by dangerous truck brakes to everyone else on the road is one reason the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is organizing a national Brake Safety Week between September 16-22, 2018. In 2017, the brake safety initiative had been cut back to one day, but in 2018, the safety alliance is returning to its previous annual one-week schedule.
The International Roadcheck is a three-day inspection spree conducted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. Its purpose is to enforce safety guidelines for bus and commercial truck drivers. An annual event, the roadcheck took place this year from June 5 to 7 and focused on the issue of hours-of-service non-compliance. Drivers in Louisiana who get wary when sharing the road with truckers will want to know more about this unsafe trend.