Drivers in Louisiana should know more about drowsy driving because every year, it is the factor behind an estimated 100,000 car accidents in the U.S. Drowsiness is known to impair one's ability to reason, judge, and react to situations. It also slows down one's reflexes. Drivers, like everyone else, cannot decide for themselves when they fall asleep, and all the energy they expend on staying awake only serves to take their attention from the road.
Commercial truckers in Louisiana may be interested in learning that the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has asked the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear its argument against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The organization is claiming that the federal agency unlawfully changed sleep apnea screening guidelines for truck drivers.
More freight is moved by truck across Louisiana and the United States than any other mode of transportation. In fact, there are approximately 15 million trucks operating on American roads, with each carrying up to 80,000 pounds. Therefore, making sure those loads are secure is a major component of highway safety. Improperly loaded trailers are a leading cause of trucking accidents and a common denominator in many rollover incidents. While erratic driving is obvious to motorists, negligently loaded freight is a hazard hidden potentially inside a locked trailer traveling in the next lane.
Like other drivers around the country, drivers in Louisiana may not enjoy having to drive next to a large commercial rig like an 18-wheeler. However, there are steps that drivers can take to make sharing the road with large trucks safer and more comfortable for everyone on the road.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has mandated that ELDs, or electronic logging devices, be installed on all commercial trucks. However, some trucking companies in Louisiana and elsewhere in the U.S. believe that the mandate is, for several reasons, an unfair one.
Drivers in Louisiana who operate large commercial trucks that are equipped with state-of-the-art, video-based safety devices may be a little safer on the road. The results of a study conducted by the AAA Foundation of Traffic Safety have indicated that such safety technologies can prevent as many as 63,000 crashes in which large trucks are a factor.
Researchers from the University of Utah School of Medicine have discovered a link between high crash risk among truckers and the presence of one or more health conditions. Having analyzed the medical and crash histories of approximately commercial truck drivers across the U.S., they found that 34 percent suffered from at least one condition that was previously connected with poor driving performance.
Commercial truckers in Louisiana and the rest of the country may soon be subject to a new rule regarding testing for obstructive sleep apnea. Democratic senators and representatives have filed bills intended to compel the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to resume its work on a rule that will establish new guidelines for the screening and treatment of sleep apnea.
Sharing the road with commercial trucks that weigh as much as 40 tons can be unnerving even for the calmest Louisiana motorists, and these anxieties tend to become more severe when weather conditions are poor, traffic is heavy and frustrations are running high. Accidents involving semi-tractor trailers and passenger vehicles are often catastrophic, and car, pickup truck and SUV occupants accounted for 68 percent of the fatalities in such crashes around the country in 2014 according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Large truck accidents can occur in Louisiana for a number of reasons. While there are many well-known reasons these accidents happen, drivers may be interested to learn of the little-known factors that can contribute to truck accidents.