Because of the large size of commercial motor vehicles, truck accidents remain among the most serious motor vehicle accidents in the New Orleans area. Prevention of truck crashes is the key to saving lives and preventing serious injuries from occurring. Tire Business reports that the U.S. trucking industry is working hard to bring crash rates down and has spent more than $7 billion to upgrade truck safety. Now, the government needs to do its part. Strengthening truck safety laws is one of 10 areas that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has identified as needing improvement. According to Transport Topics, better regulations in the trucking industry are on the NTSB’s Most Wanted list that will set the roadmap for agency efforts over 2015. While the NTSB considers how to be more effective at reducing truck collisions, the American Trucking Association (ATA) had some suggestions for Congress that were offered to a Senate Subcommittee towards the end of January. Safety Efforts Could Reduce New Orleans Truck Crashes Effective safety rules are one of the keys to reducing collisions. Strong safety regulations can also make it easier for a victim who is harmed in a truck crash to pursue compensation from the truck driver and trucking company. While plaintiffs in most accident claims have to specifically prove negligence to recover compensation for losses, a violation of any safety rules creates a presumption that negligence was involved. Plaintiffs may thus have an easier time successfully making an accident claim with the help of a New Orleans truck accident law firm. There are plenty of safety regulations already in place, including maintenance requirements for trucks, licensing requirements for drivers, and limitations on weekly hours a trucker can drive. However the ATA suggests the government can do more, including: • Mandating the use of speed limiters in all large commercial trucks and tractor-trailers.
• Creating incentives to entice truck manufacturers to install, and truck operators to buy, crash-avoidance technologies, such as systems warning if the trucker departs the lane or is about to collide into something in front of him.
• Issuing a stronger mandate to require the use of electronic driver’s logs. Electronic tracking would facilitate better enforcement of rules limiting the number of hours that a trucker can drive over the course of the week.
• Changing the regulations on driver training to remove the focus on the number of hours of education received and focus, instead, on driver comprehension and performance.
• Improving the focus of the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) system to better target carriers that are considered to be high-risk.
• Congressional monitoring of the recent suspension of the overnight rest break requirement for truckers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) had passed a rule mandating that truckers include two periods between 1:00 AM and 5:00 AM in their required rest break after they reached maximum weekly drive time, but this rule was suspended. Improving regulations could help to reduce truck accidents, making Louisiana roads safer. If you are the victim of an accident in New Orleans, contact Bloom Legal for help from an experienced law firm with a strong background in handling truck accident cases.