The traffic in New Orleans and the areas around the city can become very congested, especially during events, festivals, and peak tourist season. Anyone who lives in or near NoLA understands how frustrating and difficult it can be to traverse some areas of the city because of traffic jams. Public transportation, bicycles, and walking help to reduce traffic congestion, but they do not stop traffic congestion completely.

Accidents in Heavy Traffic Congestion

Unfortunately, traffic accidents can increase during traffic jams for several reasons, including driver error and inattention. Furthermore, accidents that occur in traffic jams can be complex because they often involve multiple vehicles because of chain-reaction collisions. Below are several tips that can help you avoid a traffic accident when driving in heavy traffic.

  • Avoid distractions! We cannot stress enough that distracted driving is dangerous, especially in heavy traffic. Traffic conditions can change in a matter of seconds. If you are not paying attention, you may not be able to avoid a collision. Put down the cell phone and other distractions, especially when driving in congested traffic areas.
  • Watch for pedestrians. New Orleans has a high pedestrian population, especially during events and festivals. Always watch for pedestrians when traffic is backed up — a person may walk out between vehicles.
  • Changing lanes excessively can increase your risk of a traffic accident in heavy traffic. Weaving in and out of traffic does not accomplish anything except causing other drivers to slam on brakes putting them and the other drivers behind them at risk for a crash.
  • Always use your turn signals and wait until you have time to cut into lanes of traffic. Attempting to “slip in” when there is not sufficient room can cause an accident.
  • Plan ahead by checking traffic reports for your route. You may need to adjust your route to avoid congested areas.
  • Leave early to allow for traffic. When you are rushed, you are more likely to drive aggressively. Allow yourself extra time to arrive at your destination, so you do not feel rushed and frustrated if you encounter a traffic jam.
  • When possible, carpool with others to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
  • Only use the left lane on the interstate and highway when you are traveling faster than the vehicles around you or you are passing slower traffic.

For more tips for driving safely, visit the Driving Safely page on

Contact a New Orleans Traffic Accident Attorney for Help

When you are injured in a traffic accident, you suffer financial and non-financial damages. You may be entitled to compensation for these damages. However, the insurance adjuster for the other driver may not explain your legal rights or your options for recovering compensation. You need an attorney with experience handling accident claims to protect your right to receive a fair and just settlement for your accident claim.

Contact Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm for a free consultation. Because we accept cases on a contingency fee basis. With a contingency fee, you do not pay attorney fees until we recover compensation for your accident claim. Call our office at (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to request a free consultation with a New Orleans accident attorney.