What Are the Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Louisiana?

February 14, 2024

By the Law Firm of Brandt & Sherman

In Louisiana, truck accidents are a major concern on the highways and in urban areas, often resulting in serious injuries and, tragically, loss of life. Given the size and weight of commercial trucks, accidents involving these vehicles are particularly devastating. At Brandt & Sherman, LLP, we have seen firsthand the impact of truck accidents on victims and their families. Through our extensive experience in handling truck accident claims, we have identified several prevalent causes of these accidents in Louisiana.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving tops the list of common causes of truck accidents. Commercial truck drivers face long hours behind the wheel, and the monotony of the road can lead to dangerous distractions. The use of electronic devices, such as smartphones, for texting, calling, or navigation significantly increases the risk of accidents. Despite rigorous federal and state regulations aimed at reducing distracted driving, adherence varies, and lapses in attention can have catastrophic consequences.

It's not just electronic distractions; eating, drinking, or even adjusting the radio can divert a driver's attention long enough to cause an accident. Our firm advocates for stringent adherence to distraction-free driving practices and supports initiatives that educate drivers on the importance of focused driving.

Driver Fatigue

Driver fatigue is another critical issue, with many truck drivers working extensive hours to meet demanding delivery schedules. Although there are regulations in place, such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) Hours of Service rules, designed to prevent fatigue by limiting driving hours and requiring rest breaks, compliance is not always strict. Fatigue can impair a driver's reflexes, judgment, and overall ability to react to road conditions or traffic changes, increasing the likelihood of accidents.

We emphasize the need for both drivers and trucking companies to prioritize safety over schedules, ensuring that drivers have adequate rest and are not pressured to meet unrealistic deadlines.

Improper Loading and Overloading

The way a truck is loaded can significantly affect its handling and stability. Improper loading, or overloading, can lead to uneven weight distribution, making a truck difficult to control, particularly when navigating turns or reacting to sudden stops. These conditions can easily lead to overturning or jackknifing, posing serious risks not only to the truck driver but also to other road users.

Our legal team often investigates the loading procedures and practices of trucking companies as part of our comprehensive approach to truck accident cases, seeking to hold all responsible parties accountable for their role in causing accidents.

Equipment Failure

Equipment failure, including issues with brakes, tires, steering components, or lighting, can be a direct cause of truck accidents. Such failures may stem from poor maintenance practices, manufacturer defects, or wear and tear. Regular inspections and maintenance are not just legal requirements; they are crucial safety measures that can prevent accidents. Yet, in the pursuit of minimizing downtime and maximizing profits, these practices may be neglected.

Our investigations into truck accident cases often include a thorough review of maintenance records and equipment conditions to identify any lapses in care that could have contributed to the accident.

Weather Conditions

Weather plays a significant role in road safety, particularly for trucks. Rain, fog, ice, and even high winds can drastically affect a truck's performance and the driver's ability to maintain control. While drivers cannot control the weather, they can control how they respond to it, including reducing speed, increasing following distance, and, when necessary, pulling over until conditions improve.

Brandt & Sherman, LLP advocates for comprehensive driver training that includes handling trucks in adverse weather conditions, ensuring that drivers are prepared to navigate Louisiana's diverse climate safely.

Inadequate Driver Training and Experience

Driving a commercial truck requires specialized skills and knowledge. Inadequate training and lack of experience can leave drivers ill-prepared to handle the complexities of operating a large vehicle, particularly in challenging situations such as heavy traffic, navigating through urban areas, or responding to emergencies. Comprehensive training programs that cover vehicle operation, safety protocols, and emergency response are essential in preparing drivers for the road.

Our firm believes that investing in driver training is not just beneficial but essential for safety. We often examine the training records of drivers involved in accidents as part of our investigative process.

Understanding the common causes of truck accidents in Louisiana is crucial for prevention and for protecting the rights of victims when accidents occur. Brandt & Sherman, LLP is committed to supporting truck accident victims by providing expert legal representation. Our goal is to ensure that victims receive the compensation they deserve for their injuries and losses and to promote safer roads for everyone.

If you've been affected by a truck accident, reach out to us for support. Together, we can navigate the legal process and work towards a resolution that acknowledges your suffering and helps pave the way for recovery.

Lafayette, LA
111 Mercury St. Lafayette, LA 70503

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