A new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association estimates that 6,227 pedestrians were killed in the U.S. in 2018, which is an increase of 250 people from 2017 and the highest that the number has been since 1990. Louisiana residents should know that from 2009 to 2018, the number of pedestrian deaths has jumped 51.5 percent and now accounts for 16 percent of all road fatalities.
The Governors Highway Safety Association has a report out showing that excessive speed is behind nearly one in three automobile-related fatalities. It expresses concern over the persistence of speeding as a factor in crashes, pointing out that it is considered "culturally acceptable" among many drivers in Louisiana and across the U.S. In other words, speeding does not come with a stigma like DUI or driving without a seatbelt does.
The ridesharing industry in Louisiana and across the U.S. is facing a problem of drowsy drivers. Many drivers, compelled by low fares and salary incentives, choose to work even when they are drowsy. Since most are independent contractors, they are never screened for conditions like obstructive sleep apnea that can reduce their alertness even more.
Every year in Louisiana and across the U.S., motor vehicle accidents lead to tens of thousands of fatalities and 2 million emergency room visits. Many of the injuries are caused by blunt abdominal trauma, and the liver and spleen are the two most commonly injured organs. While spleens can be removed in an emergency, livers cannot, so it's important to prevent injuries to them as much as possible.
Over 10 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents in Louisiana and across the U.S. take place on interstate highways. Injuries are also frequent, but pedestrians who believe their injuries were due to the negligence of the driver may be able to file a claim against that person's auto insurance company. It's possible to file a claim against state or federal agencies for failing to exercise reasonable care toward the users of the highway.
Louisiana residents should be aware that traffic accidents are now the eighth leading cause of death for people of all ages worldwide. For children and young adults between five and 29 years old, traffic accidents are the first leading global cause of death. Accidents are especially dangerous when they involve pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists. Globally, only 29 percent of traffic-related deaths are car occupants.
As soon as winter rolls in, Louisiana drivers need to start thinking about winter driving safety. Life-altering collisions can happen in the blink of an eye, and drivers must be ready for anything that comes their way. With a bit of foresight and some diligence, most drivers should be able to stay safe during the coldest months of the year.
Daylight saving time ended in Louisiana and most other parts of the United States on Nov. 4. This means that drivers must contend with a lack of sunlight and glare from streetlights during their evening commutes. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), 75 percent of traffic deaths occur after the sun goes down. In Los Angeles, the number of pedestrian deaths increased to 137 in 2017 from 74 in 2015.
According to TrueMotion, a company that works with insurance companies to monitor the behavior of drivers, around 18 percent of Louisiana motorists use their phones for apps and texting while behind the wheel. This is on the higher end for U.S. states. Like most other states, Louisiana prohibits texting while driving.
Distracted driving is a major cause of serious accidents in Louisiana. In fact, a recent study by AAA found that distracted driving is the most significant contributor to accidents in the United States. While many people believe that they are immune to such accidents, the risk continues to rise.