Louisiana has notably been ranked on several lists in recent years as one of the most dangerous states for driving. These rankings analyze the different factors that cause traffic fatalities and compare them annually regarding licensed population. By utilizing these lists and traffic reports from the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (LaDOTD), we have determined some of the most crucial points that motorists should be aware of when heading out on the roads.
What Makes Louisiana Roads Dangerous
Data from LaDOTD shows that the rate of accidents regarding population has remained steady over time, even with more licensed drivers on the roads each year. However, despite the recent shift in more staying home due to the Coronavirus pandemic, 2020 is already projected to have more traffic fatalities than recent years. By comparing crash characteristics, we may better understand the severity of this costly issue.
Where and When Accidents Occur
It's easy to assume that most car accidents occur on interstate highways with higher speed limits than rural or city roads. However, statistically speaking, this is not always the case.
In terms of the 2020 crashes resulting in injury, this is how the highway types fall into a top five:
- State Roads - 10,692 crashes
- City/Local Roads - 9,652 crashes
- US Highway - 5,312 crashes
- Interstate - 3,776 crashes
- Parish Road - 3,571
The trend is similar when looking at fatalities, with the exception of more occurring on US highways than city or local roads. While there is no definitive answer for why this is the case, we can examine the time of day to get a broader picture of when people would be on these specific roads.
Unsurprisingly, most accidents tend to happen in the afternoon, peaking at around 5 PM when most people are getting off work. If we were to put 2020 accidents by time of day into a top five, it would look something like this:
- 5 to 6 PM - 2,722 crashes
- 4 to 5 PM - 2,680 crashes
- 3 to 4 PM - 2,670 crashes
- 2 to 3 PM - 2,347 crashes
- 1 to 2 PM - 2,305 crashes
That being said, if you are planning a trip any time soon, consider taking a toll road in the early morning for the lowest chance of getting into a collision.
Do Weather Conditions Matter?
Although it's important to know where and when most crashes occur so you can avoid certain areas on your morning and evening commutes, it's also crucial to know the common conditions associated with the accidents.
Louisiana is fortunate to have pretty mild weather year-round, except in the late summer/early fall when hurricanes are more common. This means that weather conditions are not always a factor in this state when determining the cause of an accident. In fact, most 2020 accidents have happened on the clearest days.
- Clear Weather - 24,683 total crashes
- Cloudy Weather - 5,232 total crashes
- Rainy Weather - 3,587 total crashes
- Fog or Smoke - 200 total crashes
While these weather conditions aren't statistically significant enough to warrant any changes in your driving, you may be at a higher risk of crashing if more distractions are prominent.
Things like eating, using an electronic device, changing the radio station, or talking to other passengers are known distractions that continue to cause accidents each year. It's estimated that more than 65,000 accidents alone have occurred in 2020 because of distracted driving. With the endless public service announcements that come out each year against this, the risk of getting into an accident from texting or other distractions is far too great.
The Cost is Too High
The mere cost of getting injured in a car accident is staggering, with fatalities totaling over $1.2 billion. With 2020 being projected as one of the highest vehicular injury and fatality rates in recent history, the assumed cost of even serious injuries totals more than $68 million than last year. This means that even one person would have to pay well over $2000 in medical bills just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
We understand that accidents cost way more than the average person can handle, so we encourage everyone to utilize safe driving practices whenever possible.
Injured on Louisiana Roads? We Can Help.
Hinch and Associates PLC has been serving Louisiana communities for over 14 years. Our team is dedicated to protecting motorists’ rights to get home safely and seeks just compensation when they don’t. If you or a loved one has been involved in a severe or even fatal crash, contact our attorneys by calling (337) 222-3434 or visiting our website to schedule a consultation.