Louisiana motorists may be pleased to hear that a preliminary report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated that the total number of traffic deaths nationwide dropped by 1% during 2018. With a few exceptions, the number of car accident fatalities has declined steadily year over year for decades, but the data at the end of 2016 seemed to be cause for concern that U.S. roadways were growing more dangerous. Then 2017 saw a 2% drop in the number of traffic deaths and the NHTSA report suggests that a similar but smaller decline occurred in 2018.
Louisiana's seat belt laws are some of the toughest in the nation and require all passenger vehicle occupants to buckle up, but road safety advocacy groups say that even stricter regulations are required to protect rear-seat passengers. Advances in airbag and seat belt technology have greatly improved crash survivability for drivers and front-seat passengers, but these safety features do little to protect those seated in the rear of vehicles.