The Worst States for Car Accidents
Did you know that the State of Louisiana regularly ranks among the worst in the country for dangerous driving? According to an article recently published in Readers Digest, Louisiana ranks among the top 15 states with the most dangerous drivers. The author talked to highway safety and car insurers to identify the most dangerous states.
Lauren Cahn notes that “U.S. traffic fatalities are on the rise, but it turns out that some states shoulder more blame than others.” Using data obtained from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for 2017, she cites data from Car Insurance Comparison, which ranked all 50 states from most dangerous to least, based on:
- The fatality rate per 100 million miles traveled
- The number of fatalities resulting from the failure to obey traffic laws, drunk driving, speeding, and careless driving
- The complete results of the study provide rankings for each state plus the Washington, D.C., but these are the highlights.
Where did Louisiana fall? Third. Here is a countdown, from Cahn’s article, with her descriptions:
#15 – California: Careless drivers – the 9th worst in the nation with regard to careless driving fatalities
#14 – Rhode Island – the most drunk driving fatalities
#13 -Mississippi – too many traffic fatalities in general
#12 -Maine – drunk and speeding
#11 – Alabama – not paying attention
#10 -North Dakota – too many drunk drivers
#9 – North Carolina – speed kills
#8 -Delaware – too many careless drivers
#7 -New Mexico – carelessness at high speeds
#6 -South Carolina: most traffic fatalities in the nation
#5 -Nevada: failure to obey plus careless driving
#4 -Texas: Dangerous in every way
Here is what the author had to say about drivers in the Bayou state:
#3 – Louisiana: dangerous in three ways
The third worst driving state overall is Louisiana, which has been ranked the worst three times since 2010 and has the sixth highest number of traffic fatalities overall. Louisiana also happens to have high rankings for fatalities relating to a failure to obey traffic laws (second), careless-driving fatalities (fourth), and drunk-driving fatalities (ninth). One good thing that can be said for Louisiana’s drivers is that they tend to respect speed limits.
We should all be concerned about the rate of traffic fatalities in Louisiana. As a personal injury attorney, I have shared the tragic experience with clients whose loved ones have been seriously injured or even killed on roadways in South Louisiana. In an August 18, 2018 article, the Lafayette Advertiser asked: “What causes all the accidents and traffic in Lafayette?” In a quick hit video, the paper notes that police investigated 13,000 crashes over the past 18 months. “Nearly half the crashes are because of distracted drivers.” The video notes that Lafayette does not have officers assigned specifically to traffic duty. Officers apparently wear a lot of different hats, potentially issuing traffic citations and investigating home burglaries all on the same shift. According to the piece, one of the most dangerous roads to drive in Lafayette is on Ambassador Caffery between Guilbeau Road and Kaliste Saloom.
If you are a licensed driver in Acadiana, no doubt you’ve been caught in traffic jams in that area. There was some good news I gleaned from the video: Louisiana is tops in the nation for collecting crash data with a goal of improving things. It is good to know our city and state officials are examining ways to improve things. Because it could be worse. Hence, we continue with the ranking of worst driving states.
The reviews are not good for Arizona and Montana, as Cahn elaborates about the top two states left on the list. She writes:
#2 – Arizona: Careless and inattentive
Two of the deadliest driving behaviors—drunk driving and speeding—are something Arizona is improving on; the state ranks only 15th worst in the nation. Unfortunately, Arizona drivers tend to be careless (sixth highest number of carelessness-related fatalities in the nation) and have an unhealthy disregard for the rules of the road (seventh highest number of failure-to-obey-related fatalities in the nation)
#1 – Montana: The nation’s most disobedient drivers
Montana’s drivers have been ranked the nation’s worst three times since 2014, and even when it’s not rock bottom, it’s always among the ten worst. Montana drivers ranked poorly in all of the NHTSA’s categories of data, but the state truly distinguished itself as having had the highest number of fatalities due to disobeying traffic laws. It also had the second highest number of fatalities overall—just behind South Carolina—with 1.81 fatalities for every 100 million vehicle miles clocked.
The article I have cited goes on and on about the causes of automobile accidents. They are mostly rooted in negligence. A failure to obey traffic laws, speed zones, driving under the influence, texting, failure to maintain control of your vehicle due to distractions.
Personal injuries due to the negligence of another person gives rise to litigation based on Louisiana Civil Code Article 2315, which gives rise to lawsuits for personal injury sustained in vehicle accidents:
Art. 2315. Liability for acts causing damages
- Every act whatever of man that causes damage to another obliges him by whose fault it happened to repair it.
- Damages may include loss of consortium, service, and society, and shall be recoverable by the same respective categories of persons who would have had a cause of action for wrongful death of an injured person. Damages do not include costs for future medical treatment, services, surveillance, or procedures of any kind unless such treatment, services, surveillance, or procedures are directly related to a manifest physical or mental injury or disease. Damages shall include any sales taxes paid by the owner on the repair or replacement of the property damaged.
Amended by Acts 1884, No. 71; Acts 1908, No. 120, §1; Acts 1918, No. 159, §1; Acts 1932, No. 159, §1; Acts 1948, No. 333, §1; Acts 1960, No. 30, §1; Acts 1982, No. 202, §1; Acts 1984, No. 397, §1; Acts 1986, No. 211, §1; Acts 1999, No. 989, §1, eff. July 9, 1999; Acts 2001, No. 478, §1.
At Joseph Joy & Associates, we have recovered millions of dollars in damages for clients who have been seriously injured due to the negligence of someone else. If you have the unfortunate experience of being seriously involved in an accident involving a car, truck or big rig, give us a call: 337-232-8123 or visit us at 900 S. College Rd., Ste. 204, Lafayette, LA.