Louisiana ranked high in a dubious statistic: distracted drivers

On Behalf of | Jul 21, 2022 | Auto Accidents

Road safety has come to the forefront in Louisiana and across the nation and addressing safety problems is a priority. Researchers, safety advocates, legislators and law enforcement are seeking solutions to the perceived causes of auto crashes. Distracted driving is believed to be a major issue and this is backed up by recently released statistics. When there is an accident, people who have been affected must consider how and why it happened as they assess their situation.

Louisiana is the third worst state for distracted drivers

Based on information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), researchers at Zutobi produced a study showing that Louisiana was near the top for distracted driving deaths. In 2020, 166 people lost their lives in distracted driving crashes in the state. This accounted for nearly 20% of all fatal collisions. Nearly five distracted driving fatalities happened for every 100,000 drivers. Zutobi accorded states a “severity score.” Louisiana’s was third at 50.19 behind only New Mexico and Kansas.

There is an automatic assumption that distracted driving is solely due to cellphone use, but it is not defined that way. If a driver is doing anything other than paying attention to the road, it is considered a distraction. That could be adjusting the radio, eating, drinking, interacting with passengers, grooming and other activities. Any form of distraction exponentially increases the chance of an accident. Around 13% of distracted driving accidents are believed to be due to cellphone use.

In the past seven years, the numbers for distracted driving accidents with injuries have fluctuated. In general, there were 265,000 to nearly 300,000 such accidents. In the U.S. in 2020, there was a slight improvement in the number of distracted driving accidents with around 215,000, but there were more than 3,100 deaths in these crashes. The statistics could in fact be worse than what the researchers say because it can be difficult to determine when distraction was happening. Some drivers admit it and some do not. In 2019, the Louisiana Safety Commission observed drivers to see who was distracted and nearly one-third were distracted in some way.

After an accident, the next steps are crucial and may require experienced help

Those who are confronted with the uncertainty of injuries and the loss of a loved one in car and truck accidents will be unsure of what their options are. Having experienced, compassionate, trustworthy and caring guidance that is well-established in Baton Rouge and throughout Louisiana can be essential to learning what options are available. This can be helpful with recovering financially, physically, personally and professionally. Consulting with professionals who are experienced in these cases is imperative to gather evidence and move forward.