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Fatal Crashes Involving Commercial Trucks Decrease in Louisiana

Truck and car crashes reduced in Louisiana but residents still need to remain alert to keep themselves safe.
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    November 30, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Crashes between cars and commercial trucks are particularly devastating because of the sheer size differences between the vehicles. These crashes often involve serious injury or even death.

In an attempt to address the problem, Louisiana has put the Department of Public Safety in charge of truck safety. The issue used to be the responsibility of the Department of Transportation. Since the change, fatal truck accidents in Louisiana have dropped by 44 percent.

In addition, a new federal law has spurred truck companies to pay more attention to their safety requirements. The law requires every safety violation that results in a fine to be recorded on the company's record. Insurance costs increase when a company's record includes violations, so the trucking companies have a vested interest in avoiding safety violations.

Further, trucks are stopped if they appear to be overloaded. During these stops, inspectors check the trucks' brakes -- shockingly, almost half of overloaded trucks have brake problems. The trucks are usually taken out of service until the brakes are fixed.

The federal government has also increased the fines attached to safety violations, which is leading some trucking companies to focus on safety in an effort to save money.

Preventing truck accidents

Despite these regulations, commercial trucks will always present some risk to safety. Motorists can help avoid truck accidents by making an effort to drive carefully around heavy trucks.

Motorists should always avoid driving in a truck's blind spot. A good rule of thumb is to use the truck's side-view mirrors -- if the car driver cannot see the truck's mirrors, then the truck driver definitely cannot see the car.

In addition, motorists need to remember that trucks swing wide when making right-hand turns. Drivers should always use extra caution when passing a turning truck. When passing a truck, motorists should be sure to maintain a consistent speed and should not reenter the lane in front of the truck until the entire cab is visible in the rear-view mirror.

Moreover, drivers should always maintain a safe following distance when traveling behind a truck. Driving too close to a truck can cause rear-end accidents if the truck stops or slows down abruptly. The reverse holds true if a truck is driving behind a car as well. Trucks need more time to stop than cars, so motorists should be careful not to accidentally put a truck driver in a dangerous position.

Even though accident rates have declined, truck accidents are still a tragic fact of life for too many Louisiana families. When an accident is caused by the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company, victims may be able to seek financial compensation. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a Louisiana trucking accident, talk to a Baton Rouge personal injury attorney who can help you understand your options.

Article provided by Murphy Law Firm LLC
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