*NOTE* I wrote this blog post before the tragic drunk driving crash that killed two bicyclists and injured 7 more in New Orleans on Endymion night. This new incident highlights another major problem on Louisiana roadways, drunk driving. It has also led to renewed discussions of how to make bike lanes in the city safer. Hopefully, some positive changes can come from this horrible tragedy.*
I was surprised to learn Louisiana is the 4th most dangerous state for pedestrians in the country. The study published by Smart Growth America found Louisiana had 1,047 fatal pedestrian-vehicle incidents from 2008-2017 (ranking 4th out of 50 states) with Baton Rouge (12th) and New Orleans-Metairie (42nd) in most dangerous cities for these incidents. In fact, pedestrian fatalities has increased over 35% during the period studied while fatalities between vehicle occupants has decreased by 6% during the same time frame.
The news is even worse for bicyclists as Louisiana is the 2nd most deadly state (behind only Florida) according to a study by the Wall Street Journal.
A google news search for pedestrians killed in Louisiana resulted in at least eight news articles on the first page describing tragic deaths from November 2018 until February 2019. For bicyclists, I found five tragic deaths for October 2018 until February 2019 on the first page.
Pedestrian Run Over When Driver Distracted by Phone Use
A pedestrian was hit and instantly killed when a driver IN A PARKING LOT at a doctor’s office was paying attention to her phone as opposed to the parking lot and people in it. As an attorney, I believe everyone is entitled to the best defense possible because that’s a big part of what makes our legal system as rigorous and fair as it can be.
But, WE KNOW BETTER – we know that distracted driving kills. WE HAVE TO PUT THE PHONE DOWN.
Nothing is more important than life. It’s true in St. Charles Parish (Luling, Destrehan, Boutte, Norco, Des Allemands, St. Rose, Hahnville), it’s true in Jefferson Parish (Marrero, Gretna, Harvey, Kenner, Metairie, Lafitte, Westwego, Avondale, Harahan, etc.), it’s true every single time we get in a car anywhere. No excuses!
Louisiana State Police Pedestrian Recommendations
In a recent news article, a Louisiana State Police spokesperson from Troop B in Kenner, Louisiana cautioned pedestrians to always pay attention to their surroundings, wear light-colored or reflective clothing, and avoid walking on roadways in dark areas. Pedestrians should never assume drivers see them, especially at night, and walk facing traffic. Cross roadways only in well-lit and designated areas.
For bicyclists, Louisiana law requires usage of lamps and reflectors if riding between sunset and sunrise, and riding as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable.
Protect Your Loved Ones and You Can Avoid a Fatal Accident
Please, be careful out there. Protect yourself and your loved ones – and everyone around you for that matter. Share this post with your teens or with anyone who might think that distracted driving isn’t a big deal because they are “really good at multitasking.” Are you willing to risk the life of someone’s child on that? It seems the rise in pedestrian and bicyclist deaths in Louisiana is mirrored around our region. We need to turn that around by being extra vigilant, every time we drive a car.
If you were in an accident as a bicyclist or pedestrian, I wrote a book Quick Guide to Louisiana Accident and Injury Claims. This is a helpful and informative guide that will lead you through some of the common mistakes that can wreck your personal injury claim. Get answers to your questions about recorded statements, paying medical bills, negotiating a settlement, and much more! Don't make a costly mistake that could cause you to accept a settlement that is too small to cover your medical bills and lost wages! You need to read this before you talk to an attorney or insurance adjuster. I'd love to send you a copy. Just click here to receive your free copy of my book Quick Guide to Louisiana Accident and Injury Claims.
You can also contact our office at (985) 240-9773 or by filling out a contact form.