Oct 8, 2014 - Articles - by Dodson & Hooks, APLC
Many Louisiana motorists have experienced close calls when it comes to a motor vehicle accident. Drivers sometimes get just enough of a warning that they are able to make the moves necessary to avoid an accident, but others may not be so lucky. Most of these accidents are minor fender-benders that do not result in significant injuries to occupants of the vehicles.
However, when the vehicles involved include an 18-wheeler, it can be much more difficult to avoid a truck accident or escape serious injury. Tractor-trailers are much larger than other passenger vehicles on the roadways, and it can be difficult for truck drivers to make the sudden moves that would prevent a collision.
For many years, officials have been focused on finding a way to reduce the number of trucking accidents taking place across the United States. While the accident rates have declined, they have not reached a satisfactory level with various agencies that regulate the trucking industry.
One way that officials aim to reduce the number of dangerous truck drivers on roadways is Operation Safe Driver, a campaign by law enforcement that is focused on stopping and citing drivers engaged in unsafe behavior. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, one of the sponsors of Operation Safe Driver, examined all motor vehicle accidents and determined that unsafe drivers are responsible for 9 out of 10 fatal crashes.
Truck drivers found to be speeding, using a cellphone while driving or engaging in other prohibited behavior would receive a ticket. Drivers would also have their trucks inspected to check for any equipment violations and any hours-of-service concerns that could place other motorists at risk.
Drivers that receive tickets may result in additional penalties for their employers. If a driver is cited for repeat violations, he or she could be ordered off the road. If the company employs too many unsafe drivers or is found to be cutting corners on safety, the company may also be forced out of service. The company would need to show that they have resolved the issues that caused the problems before being allowed to resume operations.
Part of Operation Safe Driver also includes training for other drivers on how to act when around 18-wheelers. This allows motorists to learn how they too can take steps to prevent serious truck accidents from occurring.
If you have been injured in a trucking accident, it is important to discuss your situation with an experienced attorney. Insurance companies may try to get you to settle your case for less than it is worth. These accidents may cause injuries that require a life-time of care, and this can result in expensive treatment costs. If you accept an offer before knowing the extent of your injuries, you may not receive the compensation you need to help you recover.