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The cost of car accidents in Louisiana

The cost of car accidents are usually measured in terms of lives lost or people who have been injured and rightfully so; however, there is another way to measure the cost of car accidents in Louisiana. One way of gaining a bird’s eye view of highway accident costs is to measure the costs to society in terms of monetary costs. In 2009 the total cost of car accidents in Louisiana was estimated to be $5.69 billion according to the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.

The total costs of car accidents in Louisiana includes costs such as costs from the crash, medical treatment, lost wages, property damage and litigation. The total costs of car accidents are sometimes spread beyond the individuals involved in the crashes including insurers, employers and taxpayers. In Louisiana alcohol and drinking and driving is the number one cause of car crashes that end in injuries or death.

In 2009, almost half of the fatal car accidents that occurred in Louisiana were caused by alcohol. As a result, drinking and driving car crashes caused around 1.14 billion in 2009. To provide perspective, the Louisiana state spending budget for the 2011 fiscal year is around $24.9 billion. When the cost of car accidents is broken down by drivers in Louisiana, the costs come out to be $1,991 for every licensed driver.

Alcohol and driving is also a greater problem in Louisiana than in many other states. Among all states, drivers in Louisiana experienced the third highest death rate per miles traveled in alcohol-related car crashes in 2007 and 2008. The two states that had higher deadly alcohol-related crash rates were South Carolina and Montana. In 2009, about 49 percent of all fatal car accidents were alcohol-related and according to the Louisiana Highway Safety Research Group, around 362 people who died in alcohol-related accidents had either been drinking themselves or riding with someone who had been drinking.

Source: thenewsstar.com, “Automobile crashes cost Louisiana $5.69 billion in 2009,” Zack Southwell, 4/11/11

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