Although we’re not even halfway through the year, we’ve already seen some sobering car accident statistics, and they’re truly alarming. We know trends vary from year-to-year depending on technology and changes in roadway conditions around the nation. But in Louisiana especially, these numbers indicate a very troubling rise in accident-related deaths on our public roadways.
The reason why these statistics are compiled is so we can develop a better understanding of the driving behaviors and circumstances that are leading to an increase in these often catastrophic accidents. Being better aware of high risk behaviors can not only help prevent accidents in the future, but also helps to emphasize the importance of hiring a competent Louisiana car accident lawyer if there are instances of negligence on the part of the driver.
Distracted and Impaired Driving Deaths
Distracted driving, often as a result of motorists texting while driving or using their smartphones while behind the wheel, has contributed to 25 percent of all fatal car accidents. As alarming as that percentage is, distracted driving deaths from technology (tasks like programming navigation devices and audio entertainment) have actually been trending downward. Still, 25 percent is an alarming number given how widespread the use of these devices is among younger drivers.
More than half of all deaths involving teenagers result from distracted driving while using a technology device. Still, getting distracted is not the only cause of accidents. Statistics bear out similarly troubling numbers regarding the use of alcohol and other illicit substances.
Last year alone, there were more than 200 drunk-driving deaths in Louisiana. More than 30 percent of total car accident deaths involved motorists who were drinking and driving.
To avoid these circumstances, keep the following in mind:
- Use a ride-sharing service: Don’t drive if you’ve been drinking. If you have, use a ride-sharing service or call a friend.
- Put the phone down: No text is worth risking your life over. Wait until you’re done driving to check your phone.
- Don’t let them drive: Never accept a ride from someone who is impaired or has shown a tendency to drive while being distracted by a hand-held device. Be assertive—take action and tell them no thanks, and make sure they don’t get behind the wheel.
Dangerous Driving Circumstances
Aside from being impaired or distracted, there are other dangerous circumstances where drivers put themselves and others at serious risk. They include:
- Road rage: Road rage incidents have accounted for more than 2,000 accidents and 200 deaths.
- Sleep deprived drivers: More than 1,000 fatalities happened last year as a result of sleepless or under-rested drivers.
- Strap your seatbelts: A lower percentage of Louisiana drivers wear a seatbelt than in the rest of the nation, increasing their risk of injury should an accident occur.
Not unlike driving drunk or being distracted, these are all preventable accidents. Aside from other drivers, we also have to be aware of pedestrians and cyclists.
Accidents Involving Cyclists and Pedestrians
We don’t think of them as drivers, but cyclists and pedestrians frequently find themselves alongside motorists on our roadways. And unfortunately, they are frequently involved in accidents, some fatal.
Here are two troubling pedestrian and cyclist-related car accident statistics:
- Cyclists: More than 20 cyclists were killed in Louisiana alone in 2018
- Pedestrians: More than 150 pedestrians were killed by Louisiana drivers that year.
Drivers need to exercise more caution on the roadway, but cyclists and pedestrians also have to ensure they’re obeying traffic laws and practicing good situational awareness principles. Whether or not you’re a driver hurt in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, or you’re a pedestrian struck by an impaired driver, hiring a Louisiana car accident lawyer is imperative in any circumstance where injuries and damages are involved.
Experienced and Dedicated Louisiana Car Accident Lawyer
At the Law Offices of E. Orum Young, we have 30-plus years of serving the citizens of Louisiana in all personal injury matters. Given our awareness of the troubling statistical trends, we know just how crucially important it is to have an effective car accident lawyer. Regardless of the circumstances around the accident, we’re confident our experience and expertise can give you the trusted legal counsel you need.
To schedule a free consultation or case review, call us at (318) 303-4194 or complete our online contact form.