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Car accidents and road safety continue to be major concern

Motor vehicle accidents are a major source of concern in Louisiana, as they are in every state across the country. Despite speed limits, safety awareness campaigns and other measures, the rate of serious and fatal car accidents continues to rise. In fact, statistics indicate that 2018 was one of the deadliest years of the past decades regarding auto collisions.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 36,750 people died in car crashes last year across the country. That is down only 1% from the year before. Any decline is a step in the right direction, but there is still a clear indication that there is a significant road safety problem. This is a high number of fatalities considering that drivers are now in vehicles that have more safety features than ever before.

What are some common causes of 18-wheeler accidents?

Car accidents happen. But when they happen with an 18-wheeler, they can be especially dangerous. While trucking is a business that provides many Americans with good, honest pay, truckers are subject to road accidents just like four-wheel drivers are.

While drivers can do a lot to avoid these accidents by driving defensively, there are also causes for accidents that are out of their control. Here are some common reasons for accidents involving 18-wheelers.

New technology may reduce the chance of pedestrian accidents

When a moving vehicle collides with a person who is outside of the car, the results can be devastating. Pedestrian accidents often result in serious injuries or even fatalities, even when the vehicle is moving at a slow rate of speed at the time. In order to reduce the chance of these types of serious accidents, automakers are developing technology that can make the roads safer for Louisiana drivers and pedestrians.

Driver awareness systems are now coming in many newer vehicles. They alert drivers when they are in danger of a collision, or they can allow a driver to see what is behind him or her. There is reason to believe that these types of features can significantly reduce the chance of an accident. Most auto crashes are the result of human error, and alerts can help with that problem

Bill seeks to reduce car accidents and make roads safer

Distraction is a major safety concern on Louisiana roads, and it is now one of the most significant hazards that can endanger motorists. In order to reduce the number of fatal accidents related to cell phone use, one lawmaker proposed a bill that would expand on an existing bill that prohibits cell phone use in school zones. If passed, it is possible this legislation could reduce car accidents and make the roads safer. 

This proposed bill would ban the use of cell phones while driving on any road, not just in school zones. It would also reduce fines for a first violation from $500 to $100 and a second violation from $1,000 to $300. A third violation could result in a suspension of the driver's license and fines amounting to $300. The lawmaker presented this bill by saying that other states with similar laws in place have seen fewer fatal distracted driving accidents. 

Louisiana proposes bill to protect pedestrians

Louisianans known as "vulnerable road users" (VRUs) may soon be better protected by state law, at least if stiffer penalties for drivers who injure or kill them count as better protection.

Last month, the House Transportation Committee advanced a bill that would authorize studying increased fines for motor vehicle drivers who hurt a VRU.

Ways to avoid injuries in car accidents

Louisiana drivers cannot always predict what other drivers will do and how they will act while behind the wheel, but there are steps they can take to avoid accidents and stay as safe as reasonably possible. With more drivers on the roads during the summer months, it is smart to consider ways to make traveling safer. There are a few specific things a person can do to reduce the chance of car accidents and collision-related injuries.

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of fatalities and injuries in the United States. The chance of an accident increases during the summer months when there are more people on the road. Of course, simply avoiding accidents is not as simple as it sounds. After all, a Louisiana driver can only control his or her own actions. One thing that can reduce the chance of a serious collision is being attentive and aware of other cars on the road. 

Will self-driving technology lead to more car accidents?

Louisiana readers could be sharing the road with self-driving vehicles in the near future. Several companies are working on self-driving vehicles, including Tesla. There has been a significant amount of concern regarding the safety of Tesla's self-driving systems after several accidents involving test vehicles. The latest version of the autopilot system could do things that could endanger passengers and lead to car accidents.

According to the latest reports about Tesla's self-driving vehicles, the updated Autopilot system has several concerns that the company needs to address. The latest system is designed to operate self-driving vehicles on the highway, but it actually did certain things that were not safe. Testing indicates it performs worse than human drivers, doing things such as cutting other vehicles off and passing illegally.

Training younger drivers to reduce 18-wheeler accidents

Many truck accidents in Louisiana are the result of driver error and lack of experience. In order to combat the rising number of 18-wheeler accidents and make the roads safer for everyone, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is looking to move forward with a pilot program that would allow drivers under the age of 21 without military experience to drive semitrailers. Last summer they launched a similar program, but for people with military experience.

The FMCSA is asking for input from commercial vehicle owners regarding what this program should include regarding training, regulations and safety. The goal of this pilot program is to provide more jobs for younger Americans who need employment. The program also wants to train underage drivers to operate these types of vehicles safely and efficiently. 

Car accidents that involved cyclists are often serious

There are certain people that use Louisiana roads who are more vulnerable to injury than other types of motorists, and this includes bicyclists. Car accidents involving bicycles often result in grave or fatal injuries because a person on a bike is largely unprotected against an impact of a moving vehicle. It is critical for all motorists to know how to safely share the road with people who are on bikes. 

Statistics indicate that cyclist-involved accidents are on the rise. Unfortunately, the way that the media covers these type of incidents may indicate that people often blame the person on the bike, perhaps believing that cyclists are in the way, impeding traffic or acting recklessly. Studies actually indicate that in the vast majority of bike-car accidents, the driver of the larger vehicle is to blame.

Understanding the relationship between car accidents and TBIs

When two vehicles collide or a moving vehicle collides with something stationary, drivers and passengers can suffer a range of injuries. Brain injuries are among the most common injuries people suffer in Louisiana car accidents, and they can range from a minor concussion to permanent brain damage. It is not always clear why some accidents result in a traumatic brain injury and some do not.

TBIs are a more serious threat than many people realize. Estimates suggest that of all injury-related deaths in the United States, approximately 30% are the result of a traumatic brain injury. It is important for accident victims to recognize the signs and symptoms that may indicate something is wrong, as many TBIs are not immediately apparent. Unfortunately, there has not been a lot of research studying the specific link between motor vehicle accidents and brain injuries.

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