Louisiana's Crash Statistics for 2020
2020 was a year unlike any other. Despite reduced vehicular movement due to COVID-19 restrictions, the number of accidents, particularly fatal and injury-inducing ones, surprisingly soared in Louisiana. Conditions often became more hazardous as a significant number of motorists engaged in reckless driving behaviors due to less congested roadways.
Relying on data from The Center for Analytics & Research in Transportation at Louisiana State University (CART), we can gain insight into how these shifts in behavior affected accident rates.
Mirroring the declining trend over the past five years, injury crashes dipped to their lowest point in 2020, indicating a 19.5% decrease from 2016 and a 10% drop from 2019. Nevertheless, certain parishes, like Acadia, reported their highest injury crash rates since 2016.
Orleans Parish, despite not holding the highest overall crash rate, consistently leads in injury crashes. In 2020, the area accounted for 5,155 injury crashes, markedly lower than the 6,263 recorded in 2019.
In 2020, East Baton Rouge Parish reached a new high with 81 fatal crashes, securing its spot at the top for more than ten consecutive years. This figure represents a 40% increase from 2019. Fatal crashes also rose by 11% overall, the highest increase since 2008.
Contributing Factors to Fatal and Injury Crashes
Fewer drivers on the road didn’t equate to safer conditions. Instead, increased speeding and other reckless behaviors became commonplace.
Despite the lockdown, 2020 saw the highest rate of alcohol-related crashes since 2015, with over 7,300 collisions involving a drunk driver. These accounted for roughly 40% of all fatalities and 7% of injuries.
Sadly, many vehicle occupants neglected to use safety belts in 2020. Approximately 58.8% of those killed in motor vehicle accidents were not wearing safety belts, the highest rate since 2015.
Motorcycle Helmet Usage
The trend of neglecting safety extended to motorcyclists as well. There was a 25% increase in crashes involving riders without helmets. This number is the highest recorded for injury and fatal motorcycle crashes involving no helmet use since 2007.
2021 Crash Trends: A Cause for Concern
Orleans Parish already leads the pack in 2021 for the highest number of injury and fatal crashes. As restrictions ease and tourism picks up, this distressing trend could continue.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, The Burrell Firm LLC is here to help. We’ve spent nearly a decade assisting victims in obtaining compensation for damages. To schedule a consultation with our team, call (504) 475-7578 today.