Top 5 Causes of Car Accidents in New Orleans and How to Avoid Them

Top 5 Causes of Car Accidents in New Orleans and How to Avoid Them
Car Accident |June 14th, 2023

According to a recent report, fatal car accidents are on the rise in New Orleans. 

  • Roadway fatalities saw a significant increase of 32%, and crash-related injuries rose by 24% from 2020 to 2021.
  • Accidents causing the death of pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicle occupants have surged considerably in the last five years.
  • Traffic and vehicle-related deaths in 2021 reached the highest point since 2004.
  • Pedestrian fatalities almost doubled, rising from 11 in 2020 to 21 in 2021.
  • Traffic fatalities contribute significantly to the premature death rate in Orleans Parish, which is 51% higher than the national average for deaths occurring before the age of 75, according to a recent health survey of county rankings.

However, changes in driver habits could help prevent many of these tragedies. Being aware of these major causes of New Orleans car accidents can keep drivers and their passengers safe. 

1. Distracted Driving

In the hustle and bustle of the vibrant city of New Orleans, it’s not unusual to spot a driver engrossed in their phone while navigating the busy streets. Distracted driving, primarily due to mobile device usage, has emerged as a top cause of car accidents.  In 2022, there were 574 fatal crashes in the state of Louisiana caused by distracted driving

Avoiding this peril is simpler than one might think. It boils down to discipline and an unwavering commitment to safe driving habits. Put the phone away or switch it to ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode. If a call or text is urgent, pull over to a safe location before responding. Remember, no message is worth a life. Stay alert, stay safe.

2. Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is a menace not only to New Orleans but also to communities across the globe. It’s a harsh reality that too often, a joyous night out can turn into a devastating tragedy because of this one poor decision. Despite ongoing public awareness campaigns and strict legal consequences, the problem persists.

According to the Center for Analytics and Research in Traffic Safety, there were 251 alcohol-related fatal crashes in Louisiana, with 85 of them in urban areas. Young people are more likely to die or be injured in alcohol-related crashes – most alcohol-related accidents involve drivers aged 25-34. 

To tackle this issue, it’s important to consider alternatives to driving if one plans on drinking. Rideshare services, taxis, or a designated driver can be lifesavers. Additionally, if someone sees a friend or even a stranger preparing to drive while impaired, they should intervene. It’s better to deal with an awkward moment than the aftermath of a potential tragedy. We all have a part to play in making our roads safer.

3. Speeding

Speeding is like a thrilling roller coaster ride: it gives an adrenaline rush but can quickly spiral into a disaster. Speeding has been a contributing factor to many car accidents on New Orleans’ streets, turning a regular commute into a dangerous ordeal.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2019, speeding killed 9,478 people in the U.S., accounting for more than a quarter of all traffic fatalities. These are grim numbers, reminding us that the risk isn’t worth the thrill.

Avoiding this pitfall is as simple as adhering to the speed limits. They are set for a reason, to maintain safety on our roads. It’s crucial to remember that no appointment or event is worth risking one’s life and the lives of others on the road. Maintaining a safe speed allows drivers more time to react to unexpected situations, like a car stopping suddenly in front or a pedestrian crossing the road. Practicing patience behind the wheel can help ensure everyone gets to their destination safely.

4. Reckless Driving

Reckless driving has become a significant concern on the streets of New Orleans. All too often, drivers make risky maneuvers, fail to use turn signals, tailgate, or blatantly disregard traffic signs. These actions are more than simple annoyances—they’re a genuine threat to everyone on the road.

For example, there was a fatal crash on I-10 near Causeway Boulevard in Metairie on Saturday, April 8th. The accident, which occurred around 12:15 p.m., involved a motorist named Keion Bardell who was reportedly driving recklessly and changing lanes on the interstate. During this erratic driving, the driver’s vehicle hit Rodolfo Aldana, an 82-year-old man, resulting in Aldana colliding with a wall.

Subsequently, Bardell shifted back to the right lane, striking a Toyota Camry. The impact pushed Bardell’s car into a wall, causing it to flip over. Aldana was rushed to the hospital, where he sadly passed away. Bardell, who sustained minor injuries, was also transported to the hospital.In the aftermath of the accident, Bardell was charged with negligent homicide, reckless operation, and driving without insurance.

So, how can one contribute to combating this epidemic? Firstly, be a role model. Practice safe driving habits and respect traffic rules at all times. Secondly, if one notices reckless driving, they should report it to the local authorities while providing as much information as possible. This may include the car’s make, model, color, license plate, and the location of the incident.

Lastly, raising awareness is key. Talk about the issue with friends, family, and community members. Use social media platforms to share messages about the importance of safe driving. By working together, it’s possible to make the streets of New Orleans safer for all.

5. Weather-Related Accidents

Car Accident Laws

New Orleans, affectionately known as “The Big Easy,” is known for its unique weather conditions. From heavy rainfall and flooding to fog and hurricanes, weather conditions can become an unexpected and dangerous factor for drivers.

To mitigate the risks of weather-related accidents, drivers should stay updated on weather forecasts, especially during hurricane season or periods of expected heavy rainfall. If the weather conditions are unfavorable, it’s always safest to delay travel until conditions improve.

For those who must drive, adjusting driving habits is key. This may include reducing speed, maintaining a larger following distance, and ensuring the vehicle’s headlights and wipers are functioning properly. Always remember that the vehicle’s safety features, like anti-lock brakes and traction control, are there to help but don’t replace careful driving.

Weather in New Orleans can be as unpredictable as a Jazz improvisation, but with caution and preparation, drivers can navigate safely through any tune the weather plays.

If you were involved in a car accident, contact Alvendia Kelly & Demarest today at 504-200-0000 to schedule a free consultation.