Traffic fatalities surge in Louisiana, relates to drivers taking huge risks

Louisiana State Police
Louisiana State Police(KNOE)
Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 12:27 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 4, 2022 at 5:15 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - A recent report from A National Transportation Research Nonprofit shows that traffic fatalities in Louisiana continue to rise.

From 2019 to 2021, fatalities rose 34% in Louisiana, according to the report. On a national level, traffic fatalities surged by 19% during that same two-year period.

Experts from A National Transportation Research Nonprofit say the fatal accidents are largely related to drivers taking huge risks. Public Information Officer Javier Leija with the Louisiana State Police says the leading causes for the number of traffic fatalities are due to drivers becoming relaxed in their driving behaviors, drinking alcohol, multitasking, and becoming distracted with what’s going on inside of the car, as well as outside of the car.

“They could very well be rubbernecking - is what we call it. I’ve seen it firsthand out on the interstate. We’re working a crash. People passing by want to slow down and take a look with a person behind them. They might be looking as well and they run into the rear-end of the vehicle in front of them,” says Leija.

The chart below displays the number of Louisiana traffic fatalities, the rate of traffic fatalities per 100 million VMT in Louisiana, and the rate of vehicle travel in the state in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Chart Credit - TRIP: A National Transportation Research Nonprofit

Louisiana Traffic Fatality and Vehicle Miles of Travel (VMT) Data
Louisiana Traffic Fatality and Vehicle Miles of Travel (VMT) Data(TRIP: A National Transportation Research Nonprofit)

The report from the nonprofit includes that bicycle and pedestrian fatalities accounted for 19% of traffic fatalities in 2021.

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