According to 2018 data from the Insurance Information Institute, Louisiana’s fatal auto accident rate is significantly higher than the national average. The state has an average of 16.5 auto accident deaths per 100,000 residents, compared to just 11.2 per 100,000 for the United States as a whole.

Learning the causes of serious auto accidents can help drivers avoid these dangerous conditions and reduce the risk of catastrophic injury or death.

Pedestrian, motorcycle and bicycle fatalities

Although drivers and passengers in cars, SUVs and pickup trucks represented 60% of the Louisiana fatalities, pedestrians were the next largest risk group at 28%. Ten percent of the deaths involved motorcycle riders and 4% of victims were cyclists. These numbers highlight the importance of driver awareness of pedestrians and bikers.

Alcohol use

According to 2020 numbers compiled by Louisiana State University, nearly 29% of vehicle fatalities involve a driver who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Although this statistic represents a decline from the approximately 35% of alcohol-associated auto accident deaths in 2019, DUI is still a major contributing factor to serious accidents in the state.

Safety belt and safety seat use

LSU also tracks the number of auto accident fatalities in which the person did not have or did not properly use a seat belt or child safety seat. Researchers found that:

  • In 62.5% of 2019 deaths involving children younger than six, he or she did not have a properly fitting child safety seat. This represents an increase from 37.5% in 2018 but a decrease from the peak of 87.5% in 2015.
  • In 53.8% of driver fatalities in 2019, the person did not wear a seat belt. This statistic has remained relatively steady since 2015.
  • In 64.2% of 2019 passenger fatalities, the person did not wear a seat belt. This number represents about an 11% increase over 2018 numbers.

By understanding these risks and taking appropriate precautions, drivers can reduce the chances of a serious auto accident injury. In cases in which another driver causes a collision, the other drivers and passengers can seek compensation for medical bills and other costs.