General Info About Lake Charles, Louisiana
The city of Lake Charles is the fifth-largest in Louisiana with a population of over 75,000. The city is located on Lake Charles, Prien Lake and the Calcasieu River, and is home to several major industrial, cultural and educational centers. It is also the larger principal city of the Lake Charles-Jennings Combined Statistical Area, which boasts a population of over 200,000.
According to the American Association of Port Authorities' (AAPA) 2013 U.S. Port Ranking by Cargo Tonnage report, the Port of Charles is the twelfth-busiest port in the country. That same year, the AAPA released a report naming the port the 83rd-busiest in the world. It's no surprise that the port serves as a major employer in Lake Charles.
The city of Lake Charles is connected to the Gulf of Mexico via the Calcasieu Ship Channel, which intersects the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway just north of Calcasieu Lake and allows for the importation of myriad goods from the Gulf of Mexico.
The Louisiana Transportation System At A Glance
By way of an interconnected multimodal transportation system composed of air, rail, roadways and waterways, goods are easily transported to, from and throughout the state of Louisiana.
The Trucking Industry At A Glance
Although the movement of goods throughout the state is aided by several modes of transportation, most shipments are moved by trucks at one point or another along a delivery route. The majority of initial pickups and final deliveries are performed by trucks along so-called "last mile" routes that connect different modes of freight transportation. As a result of many of these road segments falling under local jurisdiction, they often fall outside of the priorities of the public and of elected officials. However, these roadway systems need to be safe and reliable in order to meet the delivery demands of private sector supply chains.
Trucking is an affordable and quick way of transporting many commodities, and accounts for approximately 58 percent of the tonnage moved within the state. In 2012, approximately 570 million tons of goods were transported by truck across Louisiana. With such a high volume of trucks carrying cargo, there is a need for trucking companies and truck drivers to remain compliant with permits, safety regulations and weight limits; there are 13 state-controlled static weigh station facilities along the six interstate routes in Louisiana for this purpose. In addition, the PrePass system, WIM devices, improved sign lighting, and enhanced information for travelers are a few implementations meant to address and ensure the safety of freight movement.
There are several highways that are important for freight movement by truck in Louisiana: drivers traveling east or westbound rely on I-10, I-12, and I-20, while drivers traveling north or southbound rely on I-49, I-55, and I-59. US-84 between Natchitoches and Winnfield, as well as US-190 between Baton Rouge and Opelousas are also very important roadways for freight movement by truck.
Given its industrial nature, large population, and the high volume of trucks carrying valuable cargo along its highways, Louisiana is fertile ground for truck accidents to occur. In fact, Louisiana's Highway Safety Research Group found that over 9,000 truck accidents occurred in Louisiana in the year 2012 alone. Unfortunately, 2,300 of those accidents led to injury, and 93 ended in death.
In some cases, accidents result from the inherent danger of 80,000-pound vehicles moving large loads along congested highways. In other cases, they result from truck drivers' negligence or fatigue. Facing extreme pressure to meet delivery deadlines, truck drivers often find themselves pushing the speed limit, losing sleep and skipping breaks. This is dangerous, because even the smallest oversight can quickly end in tragedy. There are federal regulations to which all truck companies and drivers must adhere; failing to do so is considered negligence, and trucking companies can be held responsible for any accident that occurs as its result.
For more information on Truck Accident Injuries in Lake Charles, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (281) 993-0000 today.
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