It probably comes as no surprise to Baton Rouge residents that when an 18-wheeler crashes, the people in the other vehicles too often die or suffer catastrophic and life-altering injuries.
Sadly, judging by a study still posted on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s, or FMCSA’s, website, most of these trucking accidents are preventable.
The FMCSA’s study broke out approximately 78,000 trucks which were involved in an injury accident and which had at least 1 “critical” reason assigned to it. One can think of a critical reason as a leading contributing factor in an accident. Here are the results of the study:
- Issues like driving too fast for the weather or for the traffic conditions, following too closely behind another vehicle and other operator errors accounted for 38% of the accidents surveyed.
- The second leading cause of truck accidents was distracted or inattentive driving. A trucker’s not paying attention to the road accounted for 28% of accidents.
- Fatigued driving, impairment and medical issues accounted for 12% of accidents.
- Additionally, problems with the trucks themselves accounted for 10% of accidents, just a hair over the percentage of accidents caused by drivers making steering errors or responding poorly to an emergency.
The immediate causes of these accidents usually involved a truck leaving its lane of travel, rear-ending a vehicle or just going out of control long enough to serious damage.
When truck drivers make mistakes, they and their companies owe compensation
Boiling it down, most of the trucking accidents surveyed happened because the truck driver made a mistake.
While certainly we all can recognize that all drivers do make mistakes, it is fair to hold professionals like truck drivers to a higher standard.
Furthermore, by anyone’s standards, drivers who cause accidents should pay for all the damages they cause, including things like medical bills, lost wages and non-economic damages.
A victim of a truck accident on Louisiana’s roads should be sure that they both understand their options and protect their legal rights.