November 27, 2023

Common Causes of Car Accidents in New Orleans | Cueria Law Firm, LLC


Common causes of car accidents in New Orleans include speeding, distracted driving, and drunk driving. These negligent behaviors all contribute to hundreds of collisions each year.

If you suffered injuries in a car accident, knowing the collision’s cause can play a vital role in determining fault and liability for those injuries. This can be difficult to accomplish on your own. Partnering with a New Orleans auto accident lawyer could give you the time needed to heal while they advocate for your legal rights.

Lane Departures, Intoxication, and Distractions All Cause Accidents.

Orleans Parish ranked sixth (along with Allen, Caddo, Desoto, Lincoln, and West Baton Rouge) in the state for fatal crashes in 2022.  Some causes of collisions in our city include:

Lane and Roadway Departures

Lane and roadway departures are one of the leading causes of crashes in Louisiana, according to CARTS. These types of accidents occur when a vehicle veers or drifts off its intended path, colliding with other vehicles, pedestrians, or stationary objects. These collisions typically occur in conjunction with other factors, such as distracted driving, impaired driving, or driver fatigue.

Drinking and Driving

Intoxicated driving is a leading cause of death in car crashes, having been involved in 40% of all Louisiana highway fatalities between 2017 to 2020, according to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. This is significantly above the national average; Common Causes of Car Accidents in New Orleans appear to be higher. If you were injured in a collision caused by a drunk driver, you have legal recourse options––even if the at-fault party never faces criminal charges.

Distracted or Inattentive Driving

The number of distracted or inattentive drivers has dramatically increased over the years. Many times, distractions arise from mobile phone use, whether talking, texting, or scrolling the web. Per La. R.S. 32:300.5, texting and driving is illegal. The fact remains: if you were injured by a distracted driver, you can file a personal injury claim or lawsuit seeking damages––whether or not they got a traffic citation.


According to the National Safety Council, speeding is a major contributor to car crashes, and 29% of all crash fatalities are the direct result of exceeding the speed limit. Speeding increases the risk of accidents and reduces the driver’s ability to react to unexpected circumstances. 

In addition, speeding significantly decreases the effectiveness of seat belts and other safety measures, making injuries more traumatic and fatalities more likely in the event of a crash.

Failure to Yield

There’s a lot of traffic in New Orleans––especially in the French Quarter. All motorists must constantly be on the lookout for pedestrians, panhandlers, bicyclists, other cars, and tour buses. Yielding the right of way plays a critical role in preventing some types of collisions, like side-impact accidents.

Common Causes of Car Accidents in New Orleans Can Be Avoided

Most of the above factors can be avoided if drivers are attentive and reduce distractions. However, every scenario can’t be avoided and sometimes our clients are subject to other distracted drivers.

Common Factors in New Orleans Car Accidents

According to the Louisiana Traffic Records Data Report 2022, there were approximately 42,400 injury crashes, resulting in 68,000 injuries. Furthermore, there were 852 fatal crashes, resulting in 906 fatalities.

We listed some of the most Common Causes of Car Accidents in New Orleans above. Yet, there are many factors that can exacerbate these collisions and cause serious injuries. They include:

  • Motorists driving on suspended (or without) licenses. If someone got their license suspended, there may have been a good reason why. These motorists may continue drinking and driving, speeding, and engaging in other behaviors that resulted in the license suspension.
  • Weather conditions. Some factors that cause New Orleans car accidents are out of motorists’ control. For instance, in October 2023, a dense “super fog” created zero-visibility conditions for commuters on Interstate 10. It resulted in a fatal collision.
  • Vehicular malfunction. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that tire blowouts, engine failure, and steering system malfunctions can lead to collisions.
  • Poor roadway conditions. Many of New Orleans’ streets have potholes that pose daily hazards to motorists. Other areas have cobblestone streets that aren’t inherently dangerous but can cause an inattentive motorist to lose control.
  • Unfamiliarity with traffic patterns. Countless tourists visit New Orleans each year. Thousands of distracted visitors combined with our city’s fair share of one-way streets can result in serious head-on collisions.

All of the above are Common Causes of Car Accidents in New Orleans.

Failure to Use Seat Belts and Restraints

Not everyone wears their seat belt or puts their children in age-appropriate car seats. While this alone does not cause collisions, it can increase the injuries and fatalities that occur. Per the NHTSA, in 2021:

  • Half of the passenger vehicle occupants who were killed in accidents did not wear seat belts or were not otherwise restrained 
  • From 1975 to 2017, seat belts have saved approximately 374,276 lives
  • The national use rate for seat belts was nearly 92% in 2022

Louisiana’s seat belt usage rate is lower than the national average, possibly contributing to the severity of collisions statewide.

Who Is Liable for Car Accidents in New Orleans?

Human error is the leading cause of all traffic accidents. Common Causes of Car Accidents in New Orleans are most often caused by human error. As noted, speeding, distracted driving, and intoxication play major roles in collisions. Each of these things happens when a motorist acts negligently. So, it is likely that another motorist shares liability for your collision. 

However, that doesn’t speak for every collision. Liability could also lie with:

  • A parts manufacturer 
  • A bar that overserved a patron 
  • A government agency 
  • A trucking company 
  • A commercial enterprise, like a rideshare company

When you partner with a car accident lawyer, they can do more than assess liability for your losses; they can also gather compelling evidence, calculate your losses, and file your personal injury claim. You benefit from prompt legal action because Louisiana has a short prescriptive period; you have just one year from your accident’s date to file a personal injury lawsuit.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident or lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and emotional distress. Our team of car accident attorneys can guide you through the complex legal process and handle everything it entails. 

At Cueria Law Firm, LLC, we offer a legal helping hand to car accident claimants in New Orleans. Our team is intimately acquainted not just with the civil claims process, but local clerks, lawyers, and judges in Orleans Parish. We’re committed to recovering fair compensation for your losses. 

To start a free case review, call 504-525-5211.

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