A Baton Rouge coroner says statistics showed 88 road accident fatalities in 2020. The Baton Rouge Police Department’s Traffic Homicide Division reports that it is the highest since 2001. They noted that more collisions occurred despite the reduction in traffic levels due to the pandemic.
The following are some of the tragic losses of life:
- A 63-year-old woman died after being struck by a car while navigating her mobility scooter across a street.
- An 11-year-old boy in a broken-down vehicle on US Hwy 61 died when a box truck smashed into the stationary car.
- A 73-year-old man succumbed to injuries he suffered when a pickup truck struck him as he proceeded to cross Airline Highway.
The head of the Homicide Division says there is nothing to indicate a reason for the many deaths, except that lower traffic levels could lead to higher speeds and more recklessness. He also noted that 24 pedestrians died, compared to the average of 15 or 16. He further speculated that higher unemployment levels caused increased numbers of pedestrians because, for many, using a vehicle has become unaffordable.
The spokesperson also said distracted driving and speed cause most of the motor vehicle accidents in Baton Rouge. Cellphone distractions include texting, making or taking calls, and even scrolling social media sites. He says many drivers drive too fast because they are late for work, appointments and more. He also urged drivers to wear seat belts at all times.
Motor vehicle accident victims who can establish another party’s negligence could file personal injury lawsuits in a Baton Rouge civil court to pursue damage recovery. Similarly, the surviving families of deceased crash victims might have grounds to file wrongful death claims. Successful claims could lead to monetary judgments to cover all documented economic and emotional damages.