Accidents Caused by Stressed Out Drivers

 In Louisiana Car Wrecks

2020 has been one for the history books. Is it any wonder that many accidents are caused by stressed out drivers? Between the pandemic and constant health threat of Covid-19, this year’s unusually active hurricane season has further exacerbated anxieties in many people, including drivers behind the wheel of cars and trucks.

Many drivers fall victim to distraction and forgetfulness during stressful times. In fact, day-to-day stress and anxiety can cause a driver’s inattention, distraction and negligence resulting in  accidents with serious personal injury.

All motorists need to focus on their driving at all times and take extra care while operating a vehicle. A study by Queensland University of Technology found that stress can have a significant negative impact on one’s concentration, impacting reaction times. It seems to make sense – few people can drive as attentively while stressed out. “Driving while stressed can be as distracting and dangerous as talking on your mobile phone,” according to the university’s press release.

The attorneys and staff at Joseph Joy and Associates live and work in Acadiana. We have family, friends and clients throughout the region – St. Mary, Iberia, St. Martin, Vermilion, Lafayette, Acadia, St. Landry, Calcasieu and Evangeline parishes. We understand the stresses that many are experiencing right now.

Hurricanes Laura and Delta left behind severe devastation in some areas– damaged homes, businesses, downed trees, power lines and more. While the good people of South Louisiana are resilient and have already made great progress cleaning up, there is still much more work to do.

If you are driving in those storm-ravaged areas, be extra careful and mindful of the roadways. It is still rough going in some areas. In fact, Jefferson Davis Parish lifted its curfew on October 16. According to the Jeff Davis sheriff’s office, the majority of the parish now has power. “Please be cautious when traveling the roadways, there are still areas with debris piled up blocking a clear view of what’s ahead of you and conceals pedestrians,” an official statement advised. “Power and cable lineman are also still in the parish repairing equipment.”

It is always a good idea to plan your trip ahead of time. Check with those in the area about detours. The Louisiana Department of Transportation has a comprehensive website and smartphone app that provides up to date info on road closures, incidents, constructions and special events. In fact, the LADOTD Hurricane Laura Debris Removal Status Dashboard offers helpful information about the state of recovery:

From the debris removal dashboard, citizens can view their locations by either zooming in on the map in the center of the page or by using the parish filter tab. Searching for specific addresses are also available by clicking on the magnifying glass on the top right of the page, which will direct you to the specific location on the map. To return to the default location, you can click on the home button. The map legend on the right side of the page is color-coded to provide information on the status of the number of passes crews have completed in the area. The more you zoom into a certain area, the more detail you will be able to see on the map such as if one side of the roadway has picked up while the other side remains to be addressed.

The information on the left side of the page provides data on how many total state miles are anticipated to be picked up, how many miles have been completed, how many miles are left to be picked up and how many miles are anticipated to be picked up the following day.

Given the large amount of debris, DOTD crews will conduct more than one pass. Citizens are asked to be patient and not obstruct the right of way with any additional debris they may be seeking to remove from their property so that pickups will be effective.

Source: La. DOTD announcement

By all means, be careful driving in roadway work zones. In Louisiana, speeding fines are doubled if a person operating a motor vehicle exceeds the speed limit on the portion of a highway which is under active construction and construction workers are on site. La. RS 32:57H

Below are some tips for driving in hard-hit areas.

  • Use your safety belt at all times.
  • Drive at a speed that is safe for road and weather conditions.
  • Recognize that traffic control information may not be posted because of damage to traffic signs.
  • Stop lights and street signs may be missing or not working – Treat intersections where lights are out as a four-way stop.
  • Recognize that police/law enforcement may be unable to enforce traffic laws.
  • Be alert for trash in the road and for road damage.
  • Be alert for trash falling from haul trucks and other vehicles.
  • Keep space between you and other vehicles.
  • Make sure to secure cargo or trash carried by your vehicle – shifting loads may fall or make the vehicle unstable.
  • Avoid driving through water, especially when it is fast moving.
  • As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your car or truck.
  • Two feet of water will carry most cars away.
  • Do not drive through standing water if fallen electrical wires are in the water.
  • Avoid driving when tired, fatigued, or upset.
  • Do not use a cell phone while operating a vehicle.
  • Avoid other distractions, such as eating, drinking, or adjusting vehicle controls, while driving.
  • Plan your route in advance.
  • Source: CDC

    Avoid becoming a stressed-out driver no matter where you are planning to go. Ask someone to drive you if you have a lot on your mind. Call Lyft or Uber. Personal injury accidents caused by stress, anxiety or impatience are preventable.

    If you or a loved one suffers a personal injury due to the negligence of another driver, call the car accident litigation team at Joseph Joy and Associates for a free consultation at (337) 232-8123.






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