When people take to the roads in Louisiana and across the United States, there is an automatic understanding that there is certain risk involved. The federal government is keenly aware of the potential challenges that can lead to a crash. Trucks are especially problematic due to the distances they travel, their speed and size. Any accident between a large truck and a smaller vehicle can result in catastrophic injuries and death. Recently, the U.S. Department of Transportation unveiled a plan to try and cut the number of road deaths to zero.
Road safety initiative strives to eliminate road fatalities
With its National Roadway Strategy, the U.S. DOT is focusing on various aspects of safety to prevent crashes, injuries and deaths. It asks the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and other agencies that focus on road safety to help improve the landscape. This is funded by the recently passed infrastructure law with $14 billion earmarked for this endeavor. There are five areas where improvement is sought: safer people; safer roads; safer vehicles; safer speeds; and post-crash care.
“Safer people” centers on ensuring drivers’ records are known and action is taken if there are violations or a poor history for safety. For example, commercial drivers who have past alcohol and drug violations cannot get back on the road. “Safer roads” is meant to ensure that planning and design are up to date. “Safer vehicles” focuses on automatic emergency braking for heavy trucks and a possible requirement that new trucks must have rear impact guards. “Safer speeds” is to create speed limits that are appropriate based on the circumstances and create roadways that force drivers to slow down without the need for a threat of speeding tickets – a form of “self-enforcement.” Finally, “post-crash care” wants to get emergency services to the scene of a collision is quickly as possible through effective planning.
Ambitious planning aside, truck accidents remain likely
Even if this well-intentioned goal is reasonably successful, the sad reality is people will still be in truck accidents and suffer injuries and lose their lives because of them. With that in mind, it is imperative to know the available options after a crash has impacted a person and his or her family financially, professionally, personally and emotionally. Among the problems people might face are medical costs, lost income, long-term injuries, disability and more. Families may be tasked with caring for a person who can no longer care for him or herself. When there is a fatality, the issues are exacerbated. There are options to hold those responsible accountable and having advice is essential from the start.