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Positive Louisiana Traffic Trends in 2009

In 2009, a car crash took the life of someone in Louisiana every 10 hours, 37 minutes and 47 seconds. Believe it or not, that is actually an improvement over 2008.

Fatal auto accidents are one of the leading causes of deaths in Louisiana. But a recent Louisiana Traffic Records Report indicates that we are entering a downward trend. Fewer people were killed or injured on Louisiana roads in 2009 than in 2008, and it looks like 2010 will have even fewer.

In 1984, Louisiana began keeping its own record of deaths and injuries caused by auto accidents. The 2009 numbers are the lowest levels since that time.

The executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, John LeBlanc, attributed the improvements to a number of things, saying “We have strong enforcement [of traffic laws], a strong media message and strong voluntary compliance.” He also credited safer cars and better maintained highways.

Although 2009 was the second year in a row we have seen a drop in the number of traffic fatalities, more than 800 people still died in Louisiana auto accidents. LeBlanc was careful to point out that he sees seatbelt use as a major problem. More than 60 percent of drivers and passengers killed in traffic crashes were not wearing seat belts.

But the victims do not hove all of the blame. Negligent drivers still bear the responsibility for causing fatal accidents. In fact, drunk drivers caused about 48 percent of the traffic fatalities in 2009.

Source: NOLA.com, “Louisiana highway traffic fatality count drops in 2009,” Ed Anderson, 21 Sept 2010

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