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Louisiana bill would seek to lower truck speed limit

Semi-trucks can be seen on Louisiana's roadways every hour of the day. These massive vehicles, which sometimes carry dangerous cargo, often clip along at the same, or faster, speed as other, smaller vehicles. Does this increase the risk that a truck accident could occur?

Yes, according to some, which is why lawmakers are seeking to pass a bill that would require large vehicles like semi-trucks and busses to drive 10 miles per hour slower than the posted speed limit. But the evidence isn't in yet. While some lawmakers suggest the number truck accident injuries and deaths would decline with the bill's implementation, others think that slower moving trucks would only increase the risk of an accident.

While politicians scramble to gather the evidence available to support their positions, one thing is sure: truck accidents will continue to occur. In 2016 alone, there were more than 7,000 wrecks involving large vehicles in Louisiana. These crashes accounted for approximately five percent of all traffic fatalities in the state and two percent of all accident injuries. Victims of these accidents are often left with significant pain and suffering, extensive medical expenses, and a large amount of lost wages. As a result, at a time when they should be focusing on their physical recovery, many of these victims struggle just to figure out how to put food on the table.

As depressing as that sounds, there is some good news. Those whose accident injuries were caused by the negligence of another may be able to impose liability and recover compensation for their losses. Suing a truck driver and the truck company for which he works can be a difficult process to navigate, though, and negotiating settlements and litigating cases requires extensive knowledge and skill. This is why many Louisianans who have been injured in these wrecks turn to a legal professional for help. While skilled attorneys seek to make their clients whole again, they also aim to deter others from acting negligently in the future, thereby protecting others who may otherwise be put in harm's way.

Source: The Times-Picayune, "Should big trucks, busses drive slower on highways? Bill would lower speed limits," Beau Evans, April 11, 2017

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