August is National Traffic Awareness Month and brings our focus to, you guessed it, traffic safety! Each day, both drivers and pedestrians become victims when they experience a car wreck that could have been avoided by the other party involved. Unfortunate events like this can turn out to be detrimental, physically and emotionally. It can also cause unneeded economical burdens on families and loved ones.
However, the encouraging news is that with more genuine care and respect towards traffic safety rules, accidents have the potential to decrease. From abiding by the traffic rules while maneuvering a vehicle as a driver, to strolling around on the correct side of the road as a pedestrian, there are plenty of ways to cut back on avoidable automotive accidents.
Accidents on the Rise in Louisiana—What You Should Know
As stated by the World Health Organization (WHO), each year more than one million people become victims of fatal traffic occurrences. WHO also noted that approximately 20 to 50 million people are injured in traffic-related incidents.
When only observing Louisiana, the numbers are just as unsettling. For instance, 193 people were killed from 2016-2020 because of some distraction that was either inside or outside the vehicle. And just in 2020 alone, 23,010 people were injured due to an automotive incident.
As you can see, traffic accidents throughout the state of Louisiana have increased by a lot in the past few years and are projected to continue to rise in 2022. According to the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission’s recent Louisiana Highway Safety Plan:
- Within the last five years, there was a 10% increase in car crashes
- In 2020, there were 827 fatalities due to car crashes, 100 more than the previous year.
- Of all the car crashes that happened in 2019, 40.6% were related to alcohol impairment.
No matter what statistic you look at, these are only the reported numbers—many other cases go unreported. So, the numbers could very well be higher. Even if you’re being safe in traffic, other drivers may not be. Accidents inevitably happen, and the attorneys at Gordon McKernan are here to help when they do!
Tips and Tricks to Increase Traffic Safety and Awareness
The main purpose of National Traffic Awareness Month is to inform people about traffic accidents, as well as what they can do to lessen the chance of a major or minor one happening. Whether you’re in a vehicle on the road or walking as a pedestrian on the side, the best thing you can do to help keep yourself safe is to be aware of your surroundings.
Furthermore, while driving on a congested road, there’s a high chance that there will be cars in front or behind you, as well as on both of your sides. So it’s very important to stay focused, because you’ll move through traffic more safely. This means you not only need to be watching the way other drivers move, you should also make sure you:
- Use your turn signal.
- Assess your mirrors and blind spots.
- Avoid going over the speed limit.
- Leave enough space between your vehicle and others.
- Most drivers follow the “three-second rule.” To clarify, you should keep three seconds’ worth of space between your car and the car in front of you, which will help maintain a safe following distance.
By being alert and respectful of the drivers around you, you’ll be able to safely navigate traffic better. It’s important to remember that you should not only practice safe driving behaviors in August, it should be taken seriously all year around.
Additionally, there are ways you can spread awareness, even while not driving! Try sharing things on your social media account, such as: traffic news reports, campaigns, personal stories, as well as safety guidelines. Even better, there are non-profit organizations that are always willing to take volunteers or donations!
Five Most Common Types of Traffic Accidents In Louisiana
As you’ve read, traffic accidents are a common occurrence on Louisiana roads, as well as the rest of the country. But, why do they happen? Let’s take a look at the five most common reasons of car crashes.
- Even though there are posted speed limit signs, not all drivers like to follow the rules and monitor their speed. Because of this, more unnecessary car accidents and truck accidents caused by speeding happen.
2. Distracted Drivers
- Since the first cars hit the roads of Louisiana, distracted driving has been an issue. Even worse, with today’s technology, distracting driving has become an epidemic. Too many people mess around on their cell phones while behind the wheel, which often turns into an accident.
3. Reckless Driving
- This is not only a problem in Louisiana, but all throughout the United States. Some examples of reckless driving include: speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating, and ignoring road signs.
4. Drunk Driving
- Drunk driving continues to be a problem in Louisiana. When a driver is impaired, they have trouble controlling their speed, the space between their vehicle and others, as well as have trouble with reaction time. All these instances can lead to increased traffic accidents.
5. Inclement Weather
- It can be hard to drive during inclement weather, which is why it’s usually best to stay off the roads when it’s bad enough. Hurricanes, heavy rain, flooding, high winds, and fog can all be dangerous situations that can lead to an accident.
Need Help after a Car Accident? Get Gordon.
If you’ve been involved in a traffic accident, having a personal injury attorney fight on your behalf can make all of the difference. They can help you secure compensation for you or a loved one. Contact Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys today at 888.501.7888, or through our website, where you can schedule a free case consultation.