Louisiana is home to 3,425,435 licensed drivers. Another 53.1 million annual visitors make the trip to the Pelican State each year, with many arriving by car. Of course, all of these drivers won’t take to the roads at the same time. When they do, certain roads in the state increase their chances of crashing into another vehicle, a highway construction site, or even a bridge. Some roads and highways are more dangerous than others. Crashes occur more frequently and happen more easily than in other locations.
Whether it’s due to road conditions, geography or a daily onslaught of reckless drivers, some roads have a bad reputation of contributing to fatal accidents. These fatalities are a key factor in a road’s “dangerous” designation. Accidents on bad roads cause many injuries as well. When vehicle occupants sustain catastrophic or serious injuries, the devastation changes a family’s life.
Over the past year, multiple media sources, personal blogs, and attorney’s websites have addressed the “dangerous road” issue. As many of these articles referred readers back to the same Geotab.com study, many reached the conclusion that I-90 is Louisiana’s most dangerous road. When you conduct your own research you often reach a less definitive conclusion
After wading through national safety agency databases, local traffic data sources, and state, local and federal information, one reaches to the conclusion that identifying the state’s dangerous roads isn’t as simple a process as it seems. Accident data sources make it a challenge to document Louisiana’s dangerous roads. When you’re looking for definitive location answers, you must navigate several national and local resources.
Except for the interactive Crash Location Map, these datasets only narrow down accident locations to cities, parishes, and generic roadway categories. They include limited street data, but they provide tremendous insight into Louisiana’s most dangerous roads.
LSU’s CARTS data tracks most accidents by the type of roadway on which they occurred. In Louisiana, accidents occur more frequently on state roads than any other road type.
LSU’s CARTS statistics show that a high percentage of accidents occur on the state’s network of state-maintained roadways. While accident data sources show no causal connection between accidents and road conditions, it’s a factor worth considering. A Shreveport Times Article, “Why Louisiana Has Some of The Worst Roads in the Country…” suggests that the state’s poor road quality is a result of poor funding.
The Louisiana Capital Regional Planning Commission website addresses infrastructure as a key element to roadway safety. It discusses a process where DOTD regional coordinators work with the Louisiana Transportation Research Center to identify road segments with high fatality, injury, and road departure accident rates. They hope to identify and implement improvements to roadway design characteristics that contribute to high crash rates.
Urban Fatal Crashes, 463; Urban Injury Crashes, 27,662 | Rural Fatal Crashes, 184; Rural Injury Crashes, 16,238
Some Louisiana parishes are urban with more residents and more traffic. Others are rural with fewer residents and less traffic. Roads in urban areas experienced more fatal crashes in 2019.
About a year ago, the media company, Geotab.com, tagged US 90 as Louisiana’s worst highway. The study used NHTSA 2017 data and legacy Federal Highway Administration Shapefiles to project average fatality rates. New data resources such as LSU’s CARTS document information that’s more up-to-date but they don’t provide full location disclosures in their data streams. The Louisiana State Police report daily accident updates via their Facebook page. While individual reports aren’t that dramatic, they help fill the information gap in identifying road accident trends.
The LSU CARTS database doesn’t identify individual state roads. It lumps state-maintained road crash statistics into the single figure, 44.7%. The state owns 27% of the roads in the state while 19% is the average state-ownership percentage nationwide. State agencies see that as a problem when the state addressing road maintenance issues that contribute to accidents.
The 2017 report, “Louisiana Transportation by the Numbers,” estimates state-maintained road conditions as “26% poor” statewide and “39% poor” for urban roads. They further acknowledge the connection between road casualties and repairs. As the report explains, “…Where appropriate, highway improvements can reduce traffic fatalities and crashes while improving traffic flow to help relieve congestion…”
Based on a continuous stream of accident reports, some roads keep resurfacing as problematic. They show up daily in news sources and traffic data reports and on police officers’ accident updates. Here are just a few of the roads in the state with bad reputations.
I-10 spans the country from Florida to California with a 274-mile stretch that crosses southern Louisiana. Although LSU accident data show a marked improvement over the previous year, authorities still deal with frequent fatality and injury accidents.
Geotab crunched past accident-related fatality numbers and projected Highway 90 as the most dangerous road in Louisana. As with other busy roads, the accidents continue.
Several dangerous road surveys list 190 as one of the state’s most dangerous highways. Recent accidents confirm the predicted danger.
While you should be wary when traveling on these and other dangerous roads, remember that in 2019, 44.7% of all fatal accidents in Louisiana occurred on state roads which might not make a “dangerous” list.
If someone injures you in an accident, a personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal options. Lawyers protect their clients’ legal and financial interests. They intervene with insurance carriers and recover damages for their injured clients.
When you consult with an attorney, you don’t make a commitment to pursue further legal action. You simply tell your story and discuss your legal options.