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Are Louisiana Roads Dangerous for Motorists? Here’s What You Should Know

— August 30, 2021

There will be speeding, drinking, and driving, but you can protect yourself with defensive driving, buckling your shoulder belts, and following common-sense driving safety rules.

There’s no question that New Orleans often goes its way in many areas. Independent dwellers in rural areas often take traffic laws as mere suggestions. Speeding, reckless driving, and drunk driving (driving under the influence) are common. Motorists frequently find themselves trying to deal with a parade float. Louisiana drivers often drive dangerously, and the bad roads contribute to the problems.

If you are hitting the road in Louisiana, you should know what to expect. Car and motorcycle accidents are common. If you find yourself engaged in one, you should have doctors tend to your injuries (if any) and an attorney to explain to you the intricacies of Louisiana’s traffic laws. Moreover, according to a New Orleans motorcycle accident lawyer, all motorists should take legal counseling as car accidents differ from motorcycle accidents. In addition, determining negligence and fault, dealing with insurance companies, establishing product defects, or filing claims for personal injuries need legal support from experienced attorneys in Louisiana.

Now that you set the route and put your lawyer on speed dial, it is time to hit the road (but not too hard!). First, let’s see some of Louisiana’s most dangerous roads for all motorists alike!

The I-10 and I-20 are Especially Dangerous

According to a financial publication, a few years ago, Interstates I-10 and I-20 bisecting the state were among the most dangerous roads in America. It seems that you are not likely to travel far without traveling on one or the other. The roads ranked as the fourth and eighth most dangerous ones in the United States. The data changed in the past years, with California taking the unfortunate prize of having the deadliest roads in the country. However, it does not mean that Louisiana dodged the bullet. I-10 and I-20 are still fairly hazardous, and you should drive or ride with the utmost care.

Why are Louisiana’s Roads so Dangerous?

To answer this question, we have to mention the mish-mash of damaged interstates and rural roads. Louisiana has big urban areas with many tourists and country highways full of potholes and obstructions that haven’t been repaired since Hurricane Katrina. Driving often changes in an instant from high-traffic interstates to rural roads winding through swampland.

Image by Matt Hoffman, via
Image by Matt Hoffman, via

According to recent reports, all motorists have to deal with massive potholes even on the interstate. In addition, bad roads cause damages to vehicles, which further increases the accident rate. Moreover, officials say that massive road repairs in Louisiana will bring more safety and economic benefits for everyone.

Fortunately, the state has recently initiated the Quality Surface Program, a three-year resurfacing program to repair about 1,100 of Louisiana’s rural roads in the northeastern section of the state. However, many problem areas remain.

Louisiana Ranks Fifth for Deadliest Roads

If recent reports show that Alaska has the highest number of bad (drunk) drivers in America, the state of Louisiana did not get rid of all the blemishes on its beautiful face yet: it does have deadly roads that nobody can ignore anymore.

The AIC and the CIC show that the state has fatality rates from accidents that rank among the highest. Louisiana has been improving, but it has much work to do before it’s considered a safe state in which to drive.

Truck drivers often have serious accidents that cause fatalities, and congested, damaged roads contribute to the death rate. If we look at the data published by Safer America, an organization dedicated to gathering and sharing consumer safety information, things are not pretty. The organization released a study of the most dangerous roads in Louisiana, based solely on recorded fatalities between 2015-2017. The worst ten roads on the list included:

  1. I-10: 121 deaths
  2. US-190: 48 deaths
  3. I-20: 49 deaths
  4. US-90: 50 deaths
  5. SR-1: 48 deaths
  6. US-61 34
  7. I-49: 29 deaths
  8. US-165: 30 deaths
  9. I-12: 25 deaths

Even the rural roads in Louisiana are dangerous. For example, reports from 2018 showed that thousands of people drove on Thomas Road in Ouachita Parish daily without realizing it was the most dangerous road. This road has been the top source of accidents for decades as there is an average of about one accident per day.

It is no surprise that I-10 has such a bad reputation because the traffic it carries is astonishing. The interstate connects the largest cities in the state: New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, and Lafayette. Instances of drunk driving are a major factor in most accidents leading to death. Louisiana’s reputation for parties, parades, and celebrations and its laissez-faire attitude toward drinking in public don’t extend to driving drunk. Jail in New Orleans during Mardi Gras isn’t an enjoyable experience.

Lagniappe: Something Extra to Consider

It’s unlikely that New Orleans or Louisiana will ever stop promoting “Laissez le Bon Temps Roule,” which means “Let the Good Times Roll.” There will be speeding, drinking, and driving, but you can protect yourself with defensive driving, buckling your shoulder belts, and following common-sense driving safety rules.

Sometimes, accidents happen that put you in harm’s way. Getting an experienced car or motorcycle accident lawyer in New Orleans is an important step for getting compensation for your injuries or a fair wrongful death settlement for a loved one.

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