Did you know that Louisiana ranks #1, tied with Texas, for “Worst Drivers in America”? This title was based on NHTSA data on fatal crashes, including failure to obey traffic laws, careless and distracted driving, speeding, and drunk driving. Here in Lafayette Parish, most drivers are careful, attentive and law-abiding, with excellent safety records. That said, calls from car accident victims and their families are still among the most frequent type of call we receive at the offices of Lafayette attorney Bart Bernard.
Car crash stats for Lafayette, LA
In 2014, Lafayette saw:
- 17 fatalities, involving 22 vehicles and 27 people
- 6 fatal drunk-driving accidents
- 6 fatal car crashes involving pedestrians
From 1994-2014, the highest number of Lafayette car accidents were recorded:
- In the month of July (64)
- Sunday mornings (69)
- Friday evenings (59)
In 2006, Lafayette fatal car crashes were above the national average, but we’ve had a lower number since then. In 2014, Lafayette had 13.1 percent of accidents/100,000 people, compared to 16.1 percent/100,000 people statewide.
Lafayette’s most dangerous intersections
According to KATC News, the following intersections had the most accidents from January 2012 to October 2013:
- Ambassador Caffery Parkway near Kaliste Saloom Road: 152
- Johnston Street near College Road: 113
- Ambassador Caffery Parkway near Johnston Street: 108
- Johnston Street near Camellia Boulevard / Rena Drive: 104
- Pinhook Road near Kaliste Saloom Road: 97
- Ambassador Caffery Parkway near Robley Drive: 93
- West Congress Street near Guilbeau Road: 84
- Willow Street near Evangeline Thruway: 74
- Ambassador Caffery Parkway near Congress Street: 66
- West Willow Street near Ambassador Caffery Parkway: 65
“The biggest offender is people going through red lights on left turns,” Lafayette Police Corporal Paul Mouton said.
Louisiana crash data reveals alarming trends
Louisiana Highway Safety Commission Executive Director John LeBlanc says Louisiana roads and highways are safer than they were in 2007, when there were 900 crashes and 993 fatalities — due to increased use of seat belts and stricter enforcement of impaired driving laws. However, the numbers are starting to creep up again.
LeBlanc points to the following alarming trends among Louisiana drivers:
- The fatality rate among 18-20 year olds increased in 2014.
- Alcohol-related crashes in this group increased for the first time in five years.
- More single vehicle crashes in late-night and early-morning were reported.
- Reports of riding without a seat belt and aggressive driving are up.
Louisiana drivers see huge auto insurance spikes
More crashes mean higher insurance premiums. Typically, auto insurance premiums creep up about 1 percent a year. But Louisiana auto insurers have been operating on very slim profit margins (as low as 3-4%) in recent history. Insurers have justified raising their rates as much as 13.5 percent a year by arguing that their pockets have been gouged by newer cars with more expensive-to-repair safety features combined with the uptick in distracted driving.
“I’d say over half of the wrecks we see people bringing in — they won’t admit to it — is from distracted driving. And distracted is usually their phone,” said Jerome Wiley, general manager of Gordon & Sandifer Auto Service Inc. in Baton Rouge.
Here are some Louisiana auto insurance statistics to consider:
- Louisiana auto insurance rates are rising 25 times the national average.
- Distracted driving accounts for at least 20 percent of Louisiana’s fatal crashes.
- In Louisiana, the number of miles driven dipped from 2014-2015, but accidents increased over 7%.
- The number of Louisiana car accidents has gone up 12.4% from 2011-2015.
- The cost of insurance claims during that period increased from 67.4% to 76.7% of premiums collected.
Drunk driving in Louisiana
Louisiana has the 13th highest number of DUI arrests in the nation. According to the CDC:
- 3,046 people were killed in drunk driving accidents in Louisiana from 2003-2012.
- 5% of Louisiana motorists admit to driving drunk, compared to the national average of 1.9%.
The NHTSA further reports there were:
- 737 fatal motor vehicle accidents in Louisiana in 2014, with 192 (34%) caused by an intoxicated driver.
- 12 out of 31 Lafayette Parish traffic deaths were alcohol-related.
Teen car accidents in Louisiana
The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission worries that distracted teen drivers are responsible for a disproportionate amount of accidents. While deaths of drivers in the age range of 15-20 dropped 49% from 2003 to 2012, motor vehicle collisions remain the leading cause of death for that age group.
- In 2012, teens accounted for 6% of licensed drivers, but 9% of drivers in fatal crashes.
- 13% of drivers in accidents that caused injuries were teenagers.
- Drivers between 16 and 19 are 3x more likely to be involved in a preventable fatal crash.
- Louisiana saw 7,166 reported crashes involving distracted teens in 2012 alone.
Seek legal representation from the best!
Lafayette car accident attorney Bart Bernard has an extensive network of experts who can investigate and bolster your lawsuit. As a member of the Elite Lawyers of America and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, he has won millions of dollars on behalf of his auto accident clients. One of his clients recently received $4.2 million in compensation after the other driver was found negligent. Call 900-9000 from anywhere in Louisiana for a free legal consultation. No attorney fees are due unless Bart Bernard wins your case!
Additional “Lafayette, Louisiana crash stats” resources:
- KPLC – Louisiana, Texas drivers tie as worst drivers in America, http://www.kplctv.com/story/34156478/louisiana-texas-drivers-tie-as-worst-drivers-in-america
- KPLC – Louisiana is 13th for DUIs, http://www.kplctv.com/story/34712440/study-louisiana-is-13th-worst-in-duis
- KATC – KATC Investigates: Most dangerous intersections in Lafayette, http://www.katc.com/Global/story.asp?S=28591150
- NHTSA – State Motor Vehicle Crash Data, https://cdan.nhtsa.gov/stsi.htm#
- The Advocate – Know why Louisiana car insurance rates might be skyrocketing? Blame it on your phone, http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/article_9504078a-0032-11e7-b739-abce205de164.html
- The Advocate – Distracted Teen Drivers’ Crash Stats Alarming, http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/politics/article_133dfe0e-75d6-5fc5-b578-108059b75867.html
- CDC – Impaired Drunk Driving in LA, https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/pdf/impaired_driving/drunk_driving_in_la.pdf
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – Traffic Safety Performance (Core Outcome) Measures For Louisiana, http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/departments/nrd-30/ncsa/STSI/22_LA/2014/22_LA_2014.htm
- Shreveport Times – Crashes and Fatalities Higher in LA, http://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/news/2015/11/17/crashes-fatalities-trend-higher-in-la-in-2014/75936932/