Sep 22, 2014 - Articles - by Dodson & Hooks, APLC
A recent push to improve highway safety has dropped Louisiana’s highway death toll to its lowest number on record, according to the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.
A total of 720 people died on Louisiana highways in 2010, the lowest number since the state began keeping records in 1984. Just three years earlier, in 2007, Louisiana had its deadliest year with 993 people killed due to motor vehicle accidents. The toll for 2011 is not yet available, but through August of this year the number stands at 466 – which is eight fewer fatalities than in August 2010.
The continuing trend downward – deaths numbered 915 in 2008 and 824 in 2009 – is noted with pride by John Leblanc, the Highway Safety Commission’s executive director, who said the improvements are not a coincidence.
Leblanc told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that “the trend toward fewer deaths is a result of many factors, such as safer vehicles and roads, more careful drivers, education programs, strong laws, seat belt use and vigorous enforcement of traffic laws.”
Motorcycle deaths dropped from 104 in 2009 to 75 in 2010, the largest decline among vehicle types. Overall accidents involving death, injuries and property damage fell for the fifth straight year to 147,543. In 2006 that number reached a high of 162,190.
The best way motorists can assure they will safely arrive at their destinations is to avoid driving after drinking and to wear a seat belt. In fact, statistics show that among all highway fatalities in 2010, 43 percent were alcohol related and 58 percent of all drivers killed were not wearing a seat belt.
Louisiana’s trend toward safer roads is mirrored nationally. According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, in 2010 the highway death toll in the United States was 32,788 – its lowest level since 1949.