How Louisiana Drivers Rank vs. the United States
Many states across America have seen a reduction in traffic accidents as well as injuries and fatalities when they have passed stricter traffic laws along with stiffer penalties, but what happens when drivers seem to disregard traffic laws altogether? Unfortunately, Louisiana has a horrible record when it comes to obeying the basic rules of the road including following traffic signals, using their seatbelts, and even making sure their driver's license is valid before they take to the road. A car insurance comparison website has compiled a list of "the worst drivers in the U.S." The ranking looks at the following driving statistics for each state and determines scores for each state depending on their performance. Louisiana had poor scores in all areas. These include
- Fatalities Rate per 100 Million Vehicle Miles Traveled - Ranked 6th
- Failure to Obey (Percentage of Fatal Crashes that involved Traffic Signals, Not Wearing Seat Belts, and Driving with an Invalid Driver’s License) Ranked 1st
- Drunk Driving (Percentage of Fatal Crashes that Involved Alcohol)- Ranked 16th
- Speeding (Percentage of Driving Fatalities that were Speed-Related)- Ranked 33th
- Careless Driving (Pedestrian & Bicyclist Fatalities per 100,000 Population) - Ranked 7th
- Overall "Bad driver" Ranked 5th
All of these rankings were made by looking at fatal accidents. They did not consider those where people survived but suffered various types of injuries. They did not reveal how often a traffic accident results in significant damage to the vehicles involved or other property.
Do Seat Belts Matter in Louisiana?
In every state, there is some provision that requires at least some drivers or passengers to wear a seatbelt while they are in a passenger vehicle. In Louisiana, it is required for everyone in a vehicle 13 or under to wear a seatbelt regardless of where they are sitting in the car. There's no requirement for older children or adults in the state, but many other states require everyone to buckle up. A little more leniency is granted to those who are in the back seat. Many people don't take Louisiana's seat belt laws very seriously, and this may be influenced by the fact that the penalty for an initial offense is only $25.
According to the Center for Disease Control wearing a seatbelt can reduce a person's risk of injury by half. Responsible drivers will often make a "car rule" that their passengers buckle up when they are driving. They do this not only because they are concerned for their passenger's safety, but because in the event of an accident the mere movement of a person inside a vehicle can cause a person to person crash and more injuries. The CDC has also found that over half of teens in fatal auto accidents were not wearing seatbelts. It also takes a while for people to grow out of failing to use a seatbelt. Adults aged 18-34 are restrained half as often as those aged 35 and older. Men are also 10% worse about belt usage than women. Also, more people forgo seatbelts if they are in a rural area. In urban areas, overall seat belt usage is at 87%, but in the country, the rate falls to 78%. Louisiana's overall seatbelt front seat usage rate in 2012 was 79% -- far less than the national average of 86%.
Failure to Follow Driving Laws
Failing to follow laws requiring a valid license is also a big concern, as it shows that many do not consider losing their license to be a significant enough of a punishment for offenses such as reckless driving, speeding, or driving under the influence. Since there is a lack of concern for the potential criminal penalties for poor and dangerous driving practices, it is that much more important that those who suffer personal injuries from an auto accident pursue their legal rights when it comes to being properly compensated for their injuries. This includes medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and more. A good personal injury lawyer will help you hold the driver responsible for their negligent driving by fully investigating the circumstances of the accident and the likely long-term effects of your injuries.
At J. Antonio Tramontana Attorney at Law in Monroe, LA we have more than twenty years experience helping clients with their personal injury cases. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you.