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.
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 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.
Louisiana truck drivers should be ready for Brake Safety Week in September. Put on by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, it was held on only a single day in 2017. During the enhanced inspection period, drivers can expect inspectors to look for missing or loose parts, fluid leaks and defective rotors. They will also be on the lookout for worn pads, linings and rotors.
Louisiana motorists may be concerned to learn that fatal large truck accidents are on the rise. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were 4,213 fatal collisions involving large trucks in 2016, compared to 4,074 in 2015.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance recently announced its upcoming Operation Safe Driver Week, which will happen in Louisiana and across the nation from July 15 to July 21. During the week, commercial trucks will undergo in-depth inspections, and participating law enforcement agencies will be watching for unsafe driving behaviors by both large trucks and passenger cars.
Considering that over 70 percent of the United State's cargo is moved by commercial vehicles, the trucking industry is important to Louisiana. However, the average trucker puts in as much as 70 work hours in eight days. This means that many commercial drivers could be dangerously drowsy while on the job.
Louisiana residents who sustain injuries in trucking accidents may be legally entitled to financial compensation. In order to obtain such compensation, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit in civil court. However, victims also have the option of reaching settlement agreements before or during the litigation process. These informal settlements can save both parties money and time.
Commercial truck drivers and bus drivers in Louisiana will want to ensure compliance with safety guidelines because the 2018 International Roadcheck will commence June 5. This inspection spree, which ends June 7, is an annual event conducted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance with the purpose of ensuring the safety of truckers and the other drivers they share the roads with.
In the ongoing efforts to regulate trucker service hours, the U.S. Department of Transportation has mandated the use of electronic logging devices. Under previous law, truckers were able to track the hours they had spent on the road with paper records. The shift to electronic logging is intended to simplify record keeping and enforcement. These rules are relevant to all Louisiana motorists as they are intended to prevent fatigued drivers from operating beyond what the hours of service regulations allow.