Baton Rouge Personal Injury Law Blog

Uber and Lyft drivers in Baton Rouge relatively unregulated

Historically, cities and states have imposed regulations on those who transport others for a fee, like taxi drivers. One of the reasons for these regulations is to protect the safety of the public who entrust their lives and their health to these drivers.

However, regulation has been lagging behind when it comes to ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. In fact, last year, Louisiana lawmakers rejected a proposition that would regulate ride-sharing on a state-wide basis. Louisiana's largest city, New Orleans, does have a detailed rule covering ride-share drivers. With respect to driver safety, for instance, the rule in New Orleans is that drivers must submit to random drug tests. Moreover, they also may not operate for more than 12 hours in a given day.

Drivers can prevent motorcycle accidents

With May being the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's, or NHTSA's, Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, it is a good time for drivers in the Baton Rouge area to remember that they have a responsibility to be on the lookout for motorcyclists and take extra care around them.

As easy as it may be to blame a motorcyclist for an accident, drivers of other vehicles indeed have a lot of pretty easy things they can do in order to prevent motorcycle accidents and the serious injuries that usually come along with them. Really, many of the safety tips NHTSA recommends are things drivers should do under all circumstances, but especially when around motorcycles.

Texting and driving ruins your sixth sense

Did you know that some experts believe drivers have a sixth sense that keeps them safe? It's that sense that helps them correct little driving errors even without thinking about it.

You can do this when you get distracted. You may start thinking about something else without simply driving off the side of the road. You make that next turn almost unconsciously, but you make it. Have you ever gotten to your destination and realized that you forgot the entire trip? You can't remember any of it, but that sixth sense kept you on the road.

Infamous truck crash may have been caused by bad brakes

As some residents of the Baton Rouge area may have already heard, a severe truck accident in another state claimed the lives of 4 people and left several other people injured, including 2 people who suffered injuries authorities described as serious.

The accident received national media attention not only because of its severity, but also because it ended in a massive conflagration on the interstate. The blaze engulfed the truck and also burned several other vehicles, forcing the closure of the interstate for several hours.

Distracted driving raises insurance premiums

While certainly they are not always easy to deal with when it comes to asking for compensation, insurance companies can be very useful in helping Baton Rouge residents to see what is and is not dangerous behavior behind the wheel.

The reason is that insurance carriers will charge higher premiums on motorists who engage in driving habits that are known to be dangerous. In this respect, the fact that premium increases due to distracted driving have spiked by almost 10,000% since the start of the decade should serve as a clear and obvious warning that distracted driving causes car accidents.

The need for speed isn't as strong as one might think

A previous post on this blog talked about the risks of driving at higher speeds. Nevertheless, it seems that many lawmakers both in Louisiana and other parts of the country are seemingly reluctant to do anything but increase speed limits on the highways in this state.

Their reluctance may not be in line with the attitudes of the voters in this state. In a recent study released by the National Safety Council, 68.5 percent of those asked, over two out of three, said that they would support reducing speed limits by five miles per hour, a move that has a documented track record of saving lives.

Use of cell phones behind the wheel is a growing concern

A previous post on this blog talked about how difficult it is for so many Louisiana residents to put down their phones and focus on their driving. As this post reported, even in the face of warnings and stepped-up law enforcement efforts, almost half of all drivers continued to text and drive, at least on occasion.

Another recent study suggests that using cell phones behind the wheel is growing in popularity, even though by now, it is common public knowledge that texting and driving, or any distracted driving for that matter, can cause serious car accidents.

Study shows more negatives than positives with increased speed

Most drivers know the dangers of speeding. Yet, high-speed areas are common throughout Louisiana. Highway speed limits are either 70 or 65 miles per hour, which makes high-speed driving inevitable. Whether driving at high speeds is legal in certain zones or not, it’s riskier than driving at lower speeds.

A new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway safety reveals that for every five miles per hour a speed limit increases, the risk for fatalities also rises 8.5 percent. That means drivers who usually drive 10-15 miles per hour over the speed limit are making their drive up to 25 percent more dangerous than those driving the speed limit.

Would telematics make commercial drivers safer?

If one thinks about it, there are many people in Louisiana who drive a variety of vehicles for a living. In addition to semitruck drivers and drivers of buses, people use all kinds of vehicles to conduct business. Sometimes, commercial drivers even use their own vehicles to earn money, such as when a person is doing a side gig driving for Uber or Lyft.

But in all cases, residents of Baton Rouge and other parts of Louisiana have to count on commercial drivers to operate their vehicles safely. They are, after all, traveling a lot of miles and often drive for long hours. They frequently carry passengers with them or use larger vehicles that are much more likely to cause a lot of destruction, and serious personal injuries, in a commercial vehicle accident.

Distracted driving: bad habits die hard

According to a recent study of 2,000 drivers, over 1 in 10, 13 percent, said that they would have a hard time putting their phones down while behind the wheel. This is the case even though it has been common knowledge for a long time that distracted drivers, especially those who are texting and driving, tend to cause serious car accidents.

The same study also found that many people may be continuing to text and drive because of subtle, or even not-so-subtle, pressure from their employers. While managers have said that they worry about their employees' texting and driving, they also clearly expect that they will still be able to get ahold of their employees even if they are not in the office.

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