Getting behind the wheel is as much a habit for many of us as brushing our teeth. The routine of it can easily lead to complacency, which is a dangerous human behavior. Being in a vehicle as a driver or a passenger is a risk we undertake without much thought, yet unintentional motor vehicle traffic accidents are one of the top three causes of death for most age groups. Almost 35,100 people were killed in 2015 in 32,166 crashes on U.S. roads. Taking population into account, the fatality rate for Louisiana was 15.5 deaths per 100,000 people.
The fatal accidents from last year involve a variety of people and of causes. An off-duty Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Deputy died after a single-vehicle crash in Calcasieu Parish when his car travelled off the road, struck a traffic light support pole and flipped end over end. A man fleeing a traffic stop in Metairie lost control of his car and was fatally ejected. A 17-year-old unlicensed driver of a Hummer (who was operating the vehicle with her mother’s permission) entered an intersection into the path of a Freightliner truck, causing the Hummer to overturn and an unrestrained 15-year-old passenger to receive critical injuries that ultimately proved fatal.
Further examples abound here in Rapides Parish. In August, a 23-year-old man was killed when his motorcycle went off Clifton Road and crashed into a tree. A 61-year-old driver approached a construction zone, “disregarded a flagman’s attempt to have him slow/stop,” and fatally hit a Caterpillar mini excavator. A single-vehicle crash in October on Elmer Road killed a woman and injured the male driver who had lost control and exited the left side of the road. Despite being in a safety seat, an 18-month-old child died in December in a crash at Bayou Rapides Road and Vandenburg Drive. The van in which the child had been a passenger was rear-ended by a Chevrolet Equinox, ran off the road, and overturned. The driver of the Equinox was initially charged with vehicular negligent injury, DWI, having an open container, not wearing a seat belt, failure to yield/stop at a stop sign, and careless operation, with more charges pending upon investigation.
Fatalities aren’t the only outcome of an accident. According to the Highway Safety Research Group (HSRG) at Louisiana State University, in addition to 18 fatal crashes, last year our own Rapides Parish was the site of 1,645 crashes that resulted in 2,763 injuries as well as 3,684 crashes that involved property damage.
If you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident, are the survivor of a someone who was killed by a negligent driver, or have any questions about this topic, you can find out more by experienced Louisiana vehicle wreck attorney Chris Roy Jr, founder of the Chris J. Roy, Jr. Law Firm. Having practiced law for nearly 30 years, he takes pride in helping accident victims in Alexandria, Pineville, Rapides Parish, Grant Parish, Avoyelles Parish, Allen Parish, Vernon Parish, and throughout Central Louisiana. Benefit from his assistance and knowledge by contacting the firm for a free initial consultation. Call 1-318-487-9537 to get help today.