Traffic accidents are caused by a variety of reasons ranging from dangerous road conditions to defective automobile parts and poor weather condition. However, many accidents are caused by driver error. For accidents caused by driver error, many of those accidents were preventable if the driver had exercised caution. Three of the most common causes of traffic accidents related to driver error involve distractions, speeding, and impaired driving.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving has become a serious problem in Louisiana and throughout the United States. According to the NHTSA, 10 percent of fatal crashes and 15 percent of injury crashes during 2015 were attributed to distracted driving. Approximately 391,000 individuals were injured in 3,477 individuals were killed in distracted driving accidents that year. Distracted driving also accounted for 551 of the deaths of pedestrians, bicyclists, and others that year.

Distracted driving results when a person diverts his or her attention away from the task of driving to another task. One of the most common forms of distracted driving is the use of electronic devices such as cell phones. Texting while driving, talking on a cell phone, emailing, posting to social media, and watching videos are extremely dangerous. For information on how to prevent distracted driving, visit the distracted driving page for AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.


Speed-related accidents are another common cause of injuries and deaths in New Orleans and the United States. The NHTSA reports that roughly 27 percent or 9,557 of the traffic fatalities in 2015 were related to speeding. This is an increase of three percent from the previous year. In Louisiana, 23 percent of the traffic-related deaths in 2015 were attributed to speeding.

As drivers, we must do our part to reduce the number of speed-related traffic accidents. Leaving early to allow for traffic jams and other delays is one way to avoid the urge to exceed the speed limit. When we speed, we reduce the time we have to take evasive actions to avoid collisions. Obeying speed limits can help reduce the risk that you will cause a speed-related accident.

Impaired Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is another common cause of traffic fatalities and injuries that can be avoided. Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities increased by 3.2 percent from 2014 (9,943) to 2015 (10,265) according to the NHTSA. The legal limit for blood alcohol content is .08 in each state in the United States. In Louisiana, 245 people died in accidents involving a driver with a BAC of .08 or higher, which equaled 34 percent of the total traffic-related fatalities for that year (the national average per state is 29 percent). Our state also had a higher average of traffic fatalities in crashes involving a driver with a BAC of .15 or above (22 percent) than the national average (20 percent).

Drunk driving is 100 percent preventable. Drivers choose to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. If you drink, do not drive! For more information about preventing drunk driving, visit the NHTSA website.

Call a New Orleans Car Accident Attorney for Help

If you are injured by a negligent driver who was speeding, distracted, drunk, or drugged, we want to help you seek compensation for your injuries, losses, and damages. Call Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm for a free legal consultation. Call (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 today to speak with an experienced New Orleans car accident lawyer.