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Louisiana drivers rank worst in factors that lead to car wrecks

"We're Number One! We're  Number One!" This prideful chant is often heard at sporting events to let all within earshot know who is the best. When it comes to fatal car wrecks and the various bad driving habits that can cause them, a recently released study determined a number one ranking that wouldn't make anyone proud. By combining different driving categories and then converting them into a numeric value where the lowest equals the worst, Louisiana drivers tied for the ranking of having worst drivers by state in the United States.

By taking statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a state by state comparison of the different causes of fatal accidents in 2016 was made, assigning a numeric rating to each state based on the percentage of fatal car wrecks that resulted from each category analyzed; the higher the percentage, the lower the score. For example, excessive speed was found to be the highest cause of fatal car wrecks in Florida by percentage, so it received a score of one in that category, while in Louisiana speeding was scored a 30. Speeding, careless driving, drunk driving, failure to obey and the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled were studied and scored; then the individual scores were added together to reach the total score.

Louisiana tied with Texas for the lowest total score of 47. By comparison, the highest total was achieved by drivers in Minnesota with a total of 202.  The Louisiana final tally of 47 resulted from the score of 30 in speeding, five in careless driving, six in drunk driving, one in failure to obey, and five in fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.

Failure to obey, where the worst ranking was given, includes deaths that resulted from traffic signal violations. Louisiana drivers ranked fifth worst in careless driving, of which cell phone use was the number one reason. Cell phone use was found to be involved in 64 percent of all car accidents nationwide.

Whenever a car wreck in Louisiana results in a fatality, the surviving family members' lives are changed forever. Combined with the heartbreaking emotional loss, there can be devastating financial consequences as well. With the assistance of an attorney experienced in handling claims arising from fatal car wrecks, financial relief could be achieved through the state's civil justice system. 

Source:, "What are the ten states with the worst drivers?", Accessed on Jan. 8, 2017

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