The National Safety Council has released its preliminary estimates on traffic injuries and fatalities in 2018, and it appears that for the third year in a row, fatalities have exceeded the 40,000 mark. Residents of Louisiana should know that 2018 saw a 1% decrease in both fatalities and injuries. Yet compared to 2015, the number of fatalities is up by 14%.
Some states saw a decline in crash deaths with Kansas, Maine, New Jersey and Rhode Island, seeing them drop by 9.4%. In Washington, D.C., and in states like Florida, Hawaii, Oregon and Pennsylvania, though, the numbers went up by 5.8%. The high number of fatalities may be due to increased instances of unsafe driving behaviors and a lack of any safety-minded culture.
The NSC urges everyone to be a defensive driver. One should avoid phone use and all other distracting activities behind the wheel, get sufficient sleep to avoid drowsiness, buckle up and have a sober driver if one drinks. Drugged driving is another issue that drivers need to be aware of, especially considering the opioid crisis the nation is in.
Parents, for their part, will want to know what their teens' driving habits are. The NSC, through its DriveitHOME initiative, offers lessons and tips for parents and teens alike.
When there is a car accident and victims find out that the other driver was distracted, drowsy, drugged or being negligent in some other way, they may consider filing a claim. The first recommended step is to have a lawyer evaluate the case. If the case holds up under Louisiana's rule of comparative fault and victims have a good chance of achieving a reasonable amount in damages, the lawyer may begin proceedings with the other side's insurance company, negotiating out of court.