In Louisiana, like the rest of the country, people are driving far more dangerously these days. This statement is not just a scare tactic. It is backed up by the numbers. Reckless driving has increased sharply since the start of the pandemic. Less traffic on the roads and more room have caused people to take far more chances than they did previously.
The Pandemic Has Caused an Increase in Reckless Driving
It is a fair statement to say that drivers have gone from bad to worse over the past several years. Louisiana roadways were always a dangerous place. Now, the average accident in the state is far worse than it was.
In addition, there is a perception that law enforcement has backed off of enforcing some traffic laws. For a time, some police officers did not want face-to-face interaction with motorists out of fear of contracting COVID-19. Some drivers got the feeling that normal rules in society were suspended during the pandemic. There has been an overall breakdown of societal norms that lead some drivers to the impression that rules do not apply to them. As a result, they make conscious choices that endanger other drivers. In general, it feels like there is less civility and regard for others, and that extends to the roadways.
Drivers have also increased other extremely dangerous behaviors behind the wheel. It is difficult to say whether it is because of the pandemic or a general disregard for safety. Despite the fact that Louisiana has strict seatbelt laws, law enforcement has noted an increase in drivers disobeying these laws. In addition, not wearing a seatbelt can take a moderate car crash and turn it into a severe one. Some drivers may not follow seatbelt laws, and that increases the chances that a serious injury becomes a fatal one.
Tougher Drunk Driving Laws Have Not Worked
Further, drunk and impaired driving is also up throughout the state. Alcohol is a factor in 40% of auto accident fatalities in Louisiana. The state has passed new laws that toughen the penalties for drunk driving, but there is still much progress to be made. The pandemic has made the problem of drunk driving far worse because people drink at home and get on the roads.
Distracted Driving Is increasing Because of Smartphones
Distracted driving has also caused fatality rates to soar. Distracted driving crashes are among the most dangerous because the driver who is not paying attention makes little to no effort to slow down or avoid the crash. These days, there is far more to compete for drivers’ attention behind the wheel. If they are not sending a text or checking social media, they are eating or having a conversation.
Statistically, drivers have a higher chance of dying in a distracted driving crash because of the speed involved. Almost one in every ten traffic fatalities nationally happen in a distracted driving crash. Oftentimes, the most inexperienced drivers (teens) are the ones who drive distracted. No matter what laws Louisiana passes to cut down on this danger, distracted driving deaths have not budged.
Larger Cars Mean More Serious Crashes
Auto accident fatalities are also climbing because the average car is much larger than in the past. Americans want bigger cars these days, and they are opting for SUVs and trucks in larger numbers. Most Americans do not want smaller sedans, and domestic automakers do not manufacture these vehicles anymore. Even when sedans are redesigned, their size increases with every new design.
The laws of science dictate that larger cars will cause far more force and impact when they crash into smaller vehicles. Although the occupants of larger cars are more protected in crashes because of the additional room for impact, those in smaller vehicles will bear the brunt of the accident. Even smaller cars with the highest safety ratings performed poorly in crash tests with larger cars.
In addition, there are far more trucks on the road than there were in the fast. The rise of online shopping and an increase in economic activity means more trucks bringing their cargo to their destination. Not every truck driver is well-trained and experienced. In fact, the truck driver workforce is aging, being replaced by younger drivers, if the trucking company can even find new operators. With more trucks on the road, there is a higher chance of being in a crash involving an eighteen-wheeler. These crashes have much higher fatality rates.
Wrongful Death Damages for Fatal Car Crashes
If your loved one has been killed in a car accident, Louisiana law allows you to file a wrongful death claim. If you are able to prove that someone else was responsible for the crash, your family can receive financial compensation to pay for its losses.
Wrongful death compensation can pay for:
- The lost wages that your loved one would have earned for the rest of their career
- Compensation for your family’s trauma and grief from losing a loved one in an accident
- The loss of the love, support and guidance that your loved one provided
Wrongful death claims may result in higher settlements for the family, considering the damages that they have suffered and what the families have lost. Given what is at stake, you should have an attorney working on your behalf.
Contact a New Orleans Car Accident Lawyer
If your loved one has died in a car crash, you may be able to obtain financial compensation if you can prove that the other driver was at fault. An experienced attorney can gather evidence and help demonstrate responsibility for the crash. Then, you need legal help to receive the most possible money for your wrongful death claim because that is money that your family needs. Call the attorneys at Egenberg Trial Lawyers at (504) 229-5700 or message us online to discuss your case.