Car Crash Data
Fatal car accidents are a preventable tragedy. The personal injury lawyers at Joseph Joy & Associates in Lafayette have represented many families grieving over the loss of a loved one killed in a car accident due to the negligence of the other driver, or worst yet a drunk driver.
Fortunately, federal, state and local governments do all they can to a minimize car accidents, from enforcing laws governing operation of vehicles to improving infrastructure and requiring safety features.
According to the 2019 Louisiana crash data report, it is making a positive difference. A report recently released by LSU’s Center for Analytics and Research and Transportation Safety found that the number of fatalities caused by car crashes were at an all-time low in Louisiana in 2019.
According to data presented by Dr. Helmut Schneider in September, 2020, there was a decline of 44 fatalities in Louisiana from 2018 to 2019. That statistic goes against a trend of increased fatalities since 2012. The data also suggests that over the last 15 years, the serious and moderate injury rate has dropped on average two injuries per year per 100 million miles traveled.
How to explain these injury and fatality trends? According to Dr. Schneider:
- Passive restraints for drivers were required to be installed in cars produced after April 1989.
- The federal legislation requiring front airbags on both sides.
- A federal requirement that all car manufacturers phase-in side impact protection as a standard feature on cars, trucks and SUVs.
Cars are safer today than they have ever been. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that “The average vehicle on the road in 2012 would have an estimated 56 percent lower fatality risk for its occupants than the average vehicle on the road in the late 1950s.”
Airbags are a lot safer than when they first came on the scene in the 1950s. Frontal airbags have saved more than 50,000 lives. Today’s vehicles offer side airbags as either standard or optional equipment. The government keeps a tight rein on manufacturers as there are frequent recalls. You can check whether your air bag is under recall by entering your VIN number here.
Electronic stability control helps reduce spin-outs. It has been required in all new car since September 1, 2011. It is now available in many new cars and helps drivers maintain control of their vehicle during extreme steering maneuvers by keeping the vehicle headed in the driver’s intended direction, even when the vehicle nears or exceeds the limits of road traction.
Rear view cameras have prevented many backover injuries and fatalities. By law, all vehicles must have rear view video systems. Sadly, 50 children per week are injured or killed in backover accidents in our country. In 70 percent of cases, the driver of the wheel is a close friend or family member of the child. The non-profit safekids.org created the “Spot The Tot” initiative that teaches families about preventable injuries that occur in driveways and parking lots when drivers are unaware that children are near vehicles. It also provides tips on how to spot kids and avoid an unintentional frontover or backover incident. It sounds obvious but their advice bears repeating if it prevents injury to one of our children in Acadiana that may be in back of or in front of a car or truck: before getting in a vehicle, all drivers, even those without children of their own, should walk all the way around their parked vehicles to check for children, or anything that could attract a child, such as a pet or toy.
Blind spot detection relies on digital cameras or sensors to determine whether a vehicle is in the next lane. It helps drivers decide whether it is safe to merge or change lanes in traffic. Most drivers have experienced the uneasy surprise of a vehicle in one’s blind spot. Blind spot detection features area an option in many new vehicles or you can purchase sensors for your existing vehicle.
Driver assistance is relatively new and could one day take control of the entire vehicle via driverless vehicles. But for now, options like forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control have helped save lives and prevent injuries.
Of course, all of these safety features work best when the driver follows the rules of the road. Louisiana’s injury and fatality rates seem to be headed in a safer direction but the ultimate responsibility is in the hands of the operators of the vehicles.
- Never drive while impaired or under the influence of any substance
- Don’t text while driving
- Obey speed limits
- Buckle up and make sure all passengers are wearing seatbelts
- Drive like your life depends upon it.
Lafayette Parish, the heart of Acadiana’s “hub city” caters to a lot of traffic. The city has tried to reduce accidents with various measures, including roundabouts to reduce speeding. Driving is a privilege, not a right, and it is incumbent upon vehicle operators to follow the laws and drive defensively.
Safety is of the utmost concern to the personal injury lawyers at Joseph Joy and Associates in Lafayette. We encounter many instances of negligence that results in serious injuries and fatalities. There are steps all of us can take to make driving and riding in a car or truck safer. If you or a loved one sustains an injury in a car accident, please call us at 337-232-8123. The law offices of Joseph Joy and Associates can ensure you get proper legal representation, and the compensation you deserve.