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Hammond Personal Injury Law Blog

The impact of fatigue on a driver

Louisiana motorists can be prone to driving while tired. According to data from the American Sleep Foundation, roughly half of adult drivers in the United States do so on a regular basis. Furthermore, 40 percent said that they had fallen asleep behind the wheel at least once as a licensed driver. The Governors Highway Safety Association points out that an estimated 5,000 people died in 2015 because of crashes caused by drowsy drivers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, police respond to over 100,000 crashes per year involving drowsy drivers. Altogether, those crashes result in about $109 billion in damages each year. A driver may be more likely to get into an accident while drowsy for a variety of different reasons. For example, a driver may have a slower reaction time while tired or be less aware that there is a hazard to avoid.

Summer car crashes can cause dangerous brain injuries

People in Louisiana may be even more likely than usual to suffer serious trauma as a result of car accidents during the summer. When more drivers take to the roads to travel to summer activities, spend time with friends and family or venture out for fun, car crashes also show an upward trend. This means that summer can be a particularly dangerous month for motor vehicle accidents, especially as more young people are likely to be on the road while school is out for the break.

Traumatic brain injury is one of the most severe repercussions that can follow an auto accident. While many people have noted the risk of brain injuries during sports, auto accidents and motorcycle crashes are the cause of the largest percentage of brain injuries that lead to hospitalization. Even if it does not immediately seem as if a car accident victim has suffered a concussion or other head injury, a proper medical examination can be important. Physicians can check an accident victim's memory, recall of words, balance, coordination and other key diagnostics in order to determine whether he or she is suffering from a concussion or other brain injury.

How fleets can use new tech to combat distracted driving

Distracted driving among both the driving public and CDL-holding professionals is becoming more and more of a problem. That's why fleet owners in Louisiana should focus on this area if they wish to keep their drivers and other road users safe. The rise of smartphones and other mobile devices may be to blame for this trend, but fortunately, there is other technology to offset their influence.

Through data analysis, fleets are able to tell when truck drivers engage in unsafe behaviors like speeding, hard braking and hard acceleration. This also allows fleets to predict dangerous situations. Omnitracs, the fleet management systems provider, has a Driving Center web-based tool that can now detect signs of fatigue and distraction in drivers, and the data analytics firm Zendrive has been able to identify at-risk drivers using only their smartphone data.

Figuring out potential damages

The worth of your case is important information that affects your options for recovery and which strategic approach may be best. Many people involved in car accidents in Louisiana and speak to a lawyer want to know the answer right away.

The truth is that calculating the damages you may be entitled to is not a quick process. Lawyers who handle such cases may need to look further into the facts and causes of the accident. They may need to consult medical and financial experts to learn about likely future expenses.

What states are safest for work truck drivers

Louisiana residents should know that the South, along with the Midwest, is considered the least safe region for the drivers of work trucks like big rigs, pick-ups and light vans. This is according to a study from Verizon Connect, a fleet management systems provider. It studied the driver behavior of more than 6,200 of its fleet customers, mostly small or mid-size businesses with a fleet of 2 to 200 vehicles. This data spanned from October 2015 to September 2017.

The safest states were Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and New York. Despite consistent traffic problems along Interstate 95, it appears that the East Coast is the safest region. The most dangerous states were Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Kentucky and Mississippi. South Dakota saw the most instances of speeding, and Vermont the least.

Hours of service regulations meant to combat truck driver fatigue

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recognizes the threat of drowsy commercial vehicle drivers. That's why the agency's regulations set 11 hours as the maximum amount of time that truck drivers can transport property cargo without a break. While anyone can fall asleep behind the wheel in Louisiana, truck drivers have a higher risk of this dangerous behavior because of their demanding work schedules and deadline pressures.

A truck driver who is too tired to pay attention to traffic or completely falls asleep poses an enhanced risk to motorists and pedestrians because of the large size of big rigs. When these heavy vehicles get into wrecks, people could suffer catastrophic injuries or even die.

Insurance may shift focus for autonomous vehicles

Louisiana drivers may be interested to learn that it was being predicted that auto insurance companies would begin to suffer as autonomous vehicles made their way onto the nation's roadways. However, it is now suggested that auto insurance products will simply shift focus, especially after reports of fatal accidents occurred that involved self-driving cars.

While autonomous vehicles have the potential to make the roads safer for all drivers, any accidents that do happen will likely be more expensive due to the cost of the technology. During an accident, the autonomous vehicle's sensors and other equipment could become damaged. This technology pushes the costs of repairs higher, even if the accident is only a simple fender bender.

Drugged driving a factor in fatal car accidents

The dangers of drunk driving are well-known to many people in Louisiana, especially after the large-scale public awareness campaign against the practice over the past several decades. However, many people may be unaware of the dangers that driving while under the influence of drugs can pose. Indeed, nearly half of all drivers killed in fatal car crashes had drugs in their systems during the accident, including marijuana, opioids or a combination of the two. According to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, 44 percent of drivers who were fatally injured in a crash tested positive for these drugs.

This was an increase from the result found in 2006, the last time the study was conducted; then, 28 percent of drivers killed in motor vehicle accidents tested positive for drugs. In the 2016 results, 38 percent of those who had positive drug tests had marijuana in their systems, while 16 percent tested positive for opioids and 4 percent for both. These figures stand alongside a decline in the number of drivers in fatal crashes who were under the influence of alcohol. While in 2006, 41 percent of drivers killed in crashes tested positive for alcohol, that figure was 38 percent in 2016.

3 mistakes to avoid after your car accident

The last thing most people want after being in a frightening crash and suffering injuries is to deal with further complications, yet doing so can be necessary for you to address your needs in the long term. Many decisions are quickly made to just make the whole thing go away but can end up damaging someone's chances of recovering the full extent of what she or he may otherwise have claim to.

Because Louisiana law limits how long you can wait to file suit, it is best for you to get a full understanding of your options before that period comes to an end. Steering clear of the following three errors can get you off to a good start:

Most frequent accidents on July 4th

To ensure a safe and fun Fourth of July, Louisiana residents need to first of all know what the most common hazards are. For example, those who are planning a barbecue probably know that undercooked meat contains salmonella and other bacteria. Those who are having a party around a swimming pool or lake will want to supervise children and provide life jackets when necessary.

Fireworks accidents are also frequent during the Independence Day holiday period. The U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission has stated that many injure their hands and fingers by mishandling fireworks. Malfunctioning fireworks may go off when unexpected, and those who are too close may suffer burns to their head, face and ears.