Wrecks in Heavy Traffic
This hurricane season wrecked a lot of infrastructure in South Louisiana and traffic has increased considerably in some areas, with the influx of volunteers and cleanup crews. Getting stuck in heavy traffic can be frustrating.
Lafayette has long had a reputation for heavy traffic especially during rush hour in some areas. How many of us have sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic on Johnson Street? Or near the Acadiana Mall?
Heavy traffic tests the patience of every driver. The automobile accident attorneys at the law firm of Joseph Joy and Associates have litigated many personal injury cases stemming from the negligent acts that have occurred in the midst of heavy vehicular traffic. Below are just a few examples of the reckless actions that can cause accidents with serious personal injury:
Following too closely causing a rear-end accident
Here’s the state law regulating cars and trucks that tailgate. It’s a violation no matter how many cars are on the road.
81. Following vehicles
- The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.
- The driver of a motor truck, when traveling upon a highway outside a business or residential district, shall not follow another motor truck within four hundred feet, but this shall not be so construed as to prevent one motor truck from overtaking and passing another.
Texting while driving also resulting in a rear-end accident and T-Bone
The widespread use of cellphones while driving has caused many serious accidents. Every jurisdiction has laws on the books against distracted driving.
300.5. Use of certain wireless telecommunications devices for text messaging prohibited (in relevant part)
A.(1) … no person shall operate any motor vehicle upon any public road or highway of this state while using a wireless telecommunications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication…
Running a red light and causing a multi-vehicle accident in the intersection
Drivers should avoid the temptation to make the light, especially in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
232. Traffic-control signals (in relevant part)
(3) Steady RED indication:
(a) Vehicular traffic facing a steady circular red signal alone shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, or if none, then before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain standing until an indication to proceed is shown except as provided in Subparagraph (c) of this Paragraph.
Improper lane passing and driving on the shoulder of the road
Be a courteous driver. No one appreciates a driver who weaves in and out of traffic or worse yet, a driver who veers onto the shoulder of the road to get ahead.
79. Driving on roadway laned for traffic
Whenever any roadway has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic, the following rules, in addition to all others consistent herewith, shall apply.
(1) A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety.
Louisiana regularly ranks among the worst in the United States for hazardous driving. In fact, the Bayou state ranks third in the country. A dubious distinction. https://josephjoy.com/2018/10/03/avoiding-car-accidents-on-labor-day-2-2-2/
Louisiana drivers have this reputation because our state has ranked among the worst in the country since 2010 and has the 6th highest number of traffic fatalities overall.
Some of the most dangerous roads to drive on in Lafayette include Ambassador Caffery between Guilbeau Road and Kaliste Saloom.
Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Don’t speed. Obey the posted speed limits. When driving in heavy traffic, there is a tendency for drivers to rush because the delays have made them late for their destination. But at the end of the day, the extra few minutes that might be gained from a faster speed limit is not worth the risk of a speeding ticket or worse yet a serious accident involving personal injury. Leave earlier and build in some extra time. It will save you the cost of a speeding ticket or worse yet, an accident with injury.
Stay in your lane. One of the most frustrating situations for any driver is to be cut off by other vehicles weaving in and out of traffic. It presents a hazard for all vehicles involved and it is against the law.
Use your turn signals. If you must switch lanes, be courteous and let other drivers that you intend to make the move.
Keep your distance – allow at least three seconds of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
Drive Defensively – Be on the lookout for “that” driver who commits the above offenses. Pay attention to speed limits and the vehicles around you. Check your rear-view mirror for other vehicles, especially motorcycles that might be in your blind spot.
Stay focused – If you find yourself in unusually heavy traffic, turn off the radio. Get off the phone.
Map out your route – Nowadays there are a number of helpful apps that can alert you to traffic tie ups. Louisiana 511 https://www.511la.org/map is the state Department of Transportation’s official, easy-to-remember traveler information service. 511 provides continual updates about weather-related road conditions, road work, commercial vehicle restrictions, road closures and other travel information via the phone, Internet or free downloadable mobile app. Waze and Google maps will also provide information on traffic and suggest alternate routes.
If you or a loved one is injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence or distraction, call the personal injury lawyers at Joseph Joy and Associates in Lafayette. Please call us for a legal consultation at (337) 232-8123.