side view of a small damaged car

How Do Louisiana Crashes Compare to Other States?

Examining Southeast Region Crash Statistics

Over the years, several lists have come out ranking states against each other in terms of driving dangers. More often than not, they use fatal crash statistics involving various factors - miles driven, number of registered vehicles, population, etc. These rankings are used to determine where registered drivers are more likely to get in an accident of varying severity or receive a traffic citation.

How Does the Southeast Region Compare?

The Southeast Region - comprised of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia - is no stranger to having some high rankings on these lists. In fact, most of them consistently rank in the top 10-25 for traffic fatalities.

According to the National Traffic and Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System, Louisiana is pretty middle of the road with 768 fatalities in the most recently reported data. This ranks them about 18 out of 50 in the most traffic fatalities category. However, when factoring in population, these rankings drastically change.

Fatalities per 100,000 Population

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports this data in terms of deaths per 100,000 population, and when this factor is ruled in, Louisiana jumps in ranking to 10 (15.6 deaths per 100,000). Not only that, but states in the region that were previously ranked lower on the list made big moves too.

  • Alabama: 19 deaths per 100,000 (ranking increased from 16 to 6)
  • Mississippi: 21.6 deaths per 100,000 (ranking increased from 20 to 3)
  • South Carolina: 19.4 deaths per 100,000 (ranking increased from 9 to 5)
  • West Virginia: 4.5 deaths per 100,000 (ranking increased from 36 to 14)

But what really determines whether a state is inherently more dangerous to drive in? We can also examine the most frequently occurring types of crashes to get a clearer idea.

Most Common Crash Characteristics

Knowing which crash characteristics motorists in a certain state are more susceptible to can paint a broader picture of how dangerous these places are. The Louisiana State University (LSU) Center for Analytics & Research in Transportation keeps a record of how these crashes occur. In their annual report, alcohol, distractions, aggressive driving, and safety belt usage were named as contributors in 78% of fatal crashes in Louisiana over a five-year period. When comparing it to the four states mentioned above, the data is fairly consistent across the board.

  • Alabama: these factors are involved in about 90% of fatal crashes
  • Mississippi: these factors are involved in about 80% of fatal crashes
  • South Carolina: these factors are involved in about 69.5% of fatal crashes
  • West Virginia: these factors are involved in about 82% of fatal crashes

Considering the commonalities of this, we may also need to look at the frequency of people on the road and the fatalities per miles driven.

Fatalities per 100 Million Miles

Since states in the Southeast region tend to be more rural, it’s important to know the frequency at which people are driving. By examining this, we can see if miles traveled are a factor in your likelihood of being involved in a fatal collision. Here is what the IIHS reports for this factor:

  • Alabama: 1.2 deaths per 100 million miles (ranked 15 overall)
  • Louisiana: 1.42 deaths per 100 million miles (ranked 8 overall)
  • Mississippi: 1.56 deaths per 100 million miles (ranked 2 overall)
  • South Carolina: 1.73 deaths per 100 million miles (ranked 1 overall)
  • West Virginia: 1.36 deaths per 100 million miles (ranked 14 overall)

What makes this less shocking is that these states are not even close to the top ten in terms of total vehicle miles traveled annually. Considering population, it is not surprising that this is the case; however, it is shocking that they have higher fatality rates while spending less time on the road.

Ultimately, what cannot be concluded from this data is a clear-cut idea of what makes a state more dangerous over another, because there are endless ways this could be determined. What can be concluded, however, is that the Southeast region is fairly consistent with driving behaviors and accident likelihood. Because of this, it’s crucial to have a personal injury attorney on your side to help you if an injury or fatal accident occurs.

How Our Louisiana Car Accident Attorney Can Help

The team at Hinch and Associates PLC has more than 30 years of combined trial experience in helping injured victims of car accidents receive compensation for their damages. With a dedicated staff that is available on weekends and after standard business hours, we are always ready to help when you need it most. If you or a loved one was injured or died in a car accident, call (337) 222-3434 to schedule a free consultation today.