Study show traffic fatalities increased 21 percent with an overall cost of $37 billion in economic costs from 2019-2022

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883 people were killed in 2022 on Louisiana roads, that’s a 21-percent increase from 2019-2022 with an overall cost of $37 billion in economic costs, according to TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit. Director of Policy and Research Rocky Moretti says the surge in fatalities among walkers and cyclists was alarming.

“22 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state were pedestrians or bicyclists. So when we talk about the need to improve traffic safety, it’s really the need to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.”

From 2019- 2022, pedestrians and cyclists saw a combined total of 8,413 traffic-related fatalities. Motorcyclists represented 14 percent of fatalities. Moretti says traffic fatalities also result in a significant economic burden.

“In 2022, the overall costs were $37 billion in Louisiana. That breaks down to $9 billion in economic costs, lost productivity, lost wages, healthcare costs, and lost property.”

In addition to an uptick in aggressive driving crashes, Moretti said the number of impaired fatal driving crashes increased a disturbing 22 percent. To combat the increase in fatalities, he says drivers should make better decisions by driving at safer speeds and not driving distracted or impaired. He says agencies need to make roadway repairs and improvements.

“Simple things like adding rumble strips, adding shoulders, adding turn lanes, improving lane markings, and then also making sure some of our facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists are as safe as possible.”

From 2019-2022, the traffic fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles of travel (VMT) increased by 18 percent.

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