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Even with health crisis, fatal auto accidents increased in 2020

On Behalf of | Feb 4, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

When people take to the road in Louisiana, they should be up to date on current safety issues they might encounter. For example, because there has been less traffic on the state and national roadways because of the ongoing health crisis, there could be an assumption that the roads are safer. Unfortunately, as recent statistics in Baton Rouge show, that is not the case. This is a problem across the nation and those impacted should be aware of it.

Baton Rouge mirrors much of the nation with a spike in fatal crashes

According to the coroner in East Baton Rouge, 2020 saw 88 people die in auto accidents in the parish. This was a trend throughout the U.S. and inspired the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to send a letter to the driving public to warn them of pandemic road dangers like speeding, distracted driving, driving under the influence and general recklessness. The 88 deaths are the most since the area began tracking the numbers. Local law enforcement says that it was the most fatalities in two decades.

It is easy to believe that the pandemic would mean the roads would be safer, but reality tells a different story. For the first several months of widespread lockdowns, Baton Rouge had 10 more deaths than it did in 2019. These increased rates were maintained for the duration of the year. Non-fatal accidents reduced by 40% while fatal accidents rose. It is believed that drivers are using the emptier roadways as an invitation to speed, increasing the chance of a crash and the severity of the outcome. Pedestrian deaths also spiked to 24. In a normal year, there are approximately 16.

Considering all options after a motor vehicle crash

When there is an auto accident, there are many problematic outcomes. People who are lucky enough to survive could face long-term hospitalizations and the need for surgical procedures, rehabilitation and long-term care. This can be challenging to their family and leave them unable to contribute personally and financially. When there is a fatality, the family left behind must think about how they will move forward after such an unexpected occurrence. Before saying or doing anything else, those who have suffered personal and financial loss after car accidents should understand their rights. Consulting with experienced legal professionals can provide guidance and options on how to proceed to file a claim.