Be careful when driving in Louisiana, because drivers here aren’t always paying attention. In fact, Louisiana has the most distracted drivers in the country, according to a recently released study. (That’s also one of the reasons that Louisiana has the second-most expensive car insurance premiums, averaging $1,921.)
Between 2011-2015, there were 26,977 people injured because of distracted driving and 192 people killed, according to the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.
And such incidents have continued. In fact, Louisiana State Troopers say that distracted driving caused a December 2016 accident that killed two people in St. John the Baptist Parish. The crash occurred when a 21-year-old driver traveling north on a state highway was distracted by a conversation with his passenger and drifted into the southbound lane, where he collided with a 69-year-old driver. The 69-year-old and one of her passengers were killed. The distracted driver and his passenger, along with another passenger in the second car, all sustained injuries.
What Constitutes Distracted Driving?
According to the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission there are three categories of distracted driving: cognitive, visual and manual. Examples include:
- Glancing at your cell phone to read a text message, email or social media update and actively responding to those messages.
- Talking to passengers and talking on your cell phone.
- Applying makeup, fixing your hair and other types of grooming activities.
- Eating and drinking.
- Looking for a new radio station or song on your playlist.
- Rubbernecking (i.e., focusing on an accident or something else outside instead of on driving).
Louisiana law bans texting while driving. It is also illegal for new drivers with learner’s or intermediate licenses to use their cell phones at all. Drivers of any age are prohibited from using their cell phones while driving in school zones during posted hours (except during emergency situations and a few other exceptions).
Other Distracted Driving Examples
The driver of a pickup truck that crashed into a church minibus in March 2017 in Texas admitted that he had been texting while driving. A witness reported that the truck had been driving erratically before it struck the minibus, repeatedly crossing the center line. Thirteen people were killed in the accident.
In January 2017, a California man was rear-ended by a driver who was distracted by her cell phone. He was stopped at a red light when the woman crashed into him. The injured driver blames Apple for not implementing technology that would disable phones while driving. A similar complaint was raised against the tech company in 2014 when a 5-year-old was killed by a driver using FaceTime while behind the wheel. The family was stopped in traffic when the FaceTime user crashed into them, going 65 miles per hour. He admitted that he was using the application at the time of the crash, and when police located the phone the app was still active.
Contact Us Today
Contact Patrick Yancey Law Firm today for a free consultation if you or a loved one have been injured or killed by a distracted driver. We will help you recover compensation for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.