The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s Destination Zero Deaths initiative aims to reduce road fatalities in the state by half before 2030 by clamping down on drunk driving, encouraging seatbelt use, and educating young drivers, but the figures suggest that this goal may be somewhat optimistic. When a car insurance comparison website analyzed traffic accident data gathered over a five-year period by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Pelican State emerged as one of the most dangerous parts of the country to travel by road.
Road deaths climb steadily
The data shows that car accident deaths have climbed steadily in Louisiana since 2013 and have only dipped below 700 once since 1994. According to the researchers, only Massachusetts, West Virginia, Wyoming, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire have more dangerous roads than Louisiana. These worrying traffic fatality figures cannot be blamed on poor roads as Louisiana receives more federal funding for highway improvements per capita than most other states.
Bad driving and intoxication
Another study conducted by the car insurance comparison website reveals that poor driving skills and recklessness are likely the reason road travel is so dangerous in Louisiana. Each year, researchers scrutinize accident data to determine which states have the worst drivers. Louisiana has ranked in the bottom six states every year since 2011. Alcohol consumption also appears to be playing a major role. In 2017, 30% of the people who died on Louisiana’s roads lost their lives in an accident that involved an intoxicated driver. In neighboring Texas, the figure was less than 10%.
Lawsuits against drunk drivers
Establishing liability in personal injury lawsuits could be relatively straightforward in car accident cases if the defendant was arrested for drunk driving, but recovering damages may be more challenging. This is because intoxicated drivers who cause serious accidents often face serious criminal charges and long prison sentences. When the individuals who injured their clients are unable to make restitution because they are incarcerated, attorneys with experience in this area could file lawsuits against their insurance companies.