Interstate 10 in Louisiana: One of the Nation’s Most Dangerous Roads

Interstate 10 is an interstate highway that runs across the U.S. throughout the southernmost states. This major artery not only connects the eastern and western U.S. but roads and interstates to northern and Midwestern states.

Everyday commuters, commercial shipments, long-distance travelers, and visitors to and from Louisiana use this heavily traveled interstate every day.

Major Cities Along the Louisiana I10

The i-10 is a long stretch of roadway that travels in an east to the west direction in the U.S. covering over 2,400 miles and traveling through eight states including Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. In Louisiana, interstate 10 takes close to five hours of drive time and encompasses over 270 miles in the state.

I-10 goes through many of Louisiana’s major city hubs, such as Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and Lake Charles, and along the outskirts of New Orleans. This interstate also connects to the north to southbound interstates such as I-59, I-55 and I-49, and other major state routes and highways.

Is the I-10 in Louisiana Dangerous?

Interstate 10 is a well-known roadway due to its frequency of use by drivers but also the frequent disastrous accidents that occur along the route. I-10 is often considered one of the more dangerous roadways within the U.S., with certain portions ranking as some of the highest rates of fatal accidents in the country.

At any point in time, you can turn on the news or read the latest headlines to find out about another injury-related or fatal accident on the I-10 in Louisiana. Crash reports by the state’s reporting system indicate that in just one year over 100 people will lose their lives in a fatal accident while traveling on one of the state’s interstates. As one of the heaviest traveled roads in the state, many of these fatalities occur along the Louisiana I-10.

What Are Common Dangers Along Interstate 10 in Louisiana?

You may be wondering what about the I-10 makes it more dangerous than any other roadway. What makes this roadway more susceptible to motor vehicle accidents that end in serious injuries or fatalities.

The answer lies in a combination of factors that put those that travel along this road at increased risk of an accident due to dangers throughout I-10 in Louisiana. Ultimately, these factors and the negligence of certain motorists can endanger other drivers and passengers.

#1. Bridges

I-10 travels over many Louisiana bridges. Bridges create dangers to motorists due to the often-sudden narrowing of the streets, congestion, slick pavement during hazardous weather, and in some cases, the dangerously deteriorating structures themselves.

Bridges along I-10 in Louisiana include:

  • Calcasieu River Bridge
  • Twin Span Bridge
  • Atchafalaya Basin Bridge
  • Horace Wilkinson Bridge
  • High Rise Bridge
  • Bonnet Carre Spillway Bridge
  • Lake Pontchartrain Causeway

#2. Trucks

Interstate 10 is one of the busiest commercial shipping routes for local and interstate commerce in Louisiana. Due to its east to west expanse across the U.S., semis, tractor-trailers, box trucks, and in recent years, even autonomous trucks heavily travel this route.

Truckers are present along this route and at any given time. There is an especially high risk of motor vehicle accidents during heavy commute hours along some of the state’s most populous areas along the I-10 corridor.

Unfortunately, the massive size of trucks in combination with the actions of their drivers can frequently place the public at high risk of injury when there is negligence involved. The trucking industry is nonstop and, in many cases, demanding of drivers and deadlines.

Truckers are often under high-pressure situations and live stressful isolating lives when on the road. This can lead to a risk of negligent behavior such as drinking and driving, cutting corners in truck maintenance, ignoring hours of service rules, speeding, and insufficient rest, which ultimately puts them and others on the I-10 in Louisiana at risk of involvement in a devastating accident.

#3. Congestion

Traffic jams are not only a source of frustration along the I-10 but can also be the cause of many accidents. Stop and go traffic, high congestion, or standstills happen every day along many portions of interstate 10. With these situations come impatient drivers, aggressive drivers, and others who can act negligently and place others at risk of harm.

#4. Speed

It is hard to overlook one of the biggest contributing factors to the severity of accidents along interstate 10, speed. In Louisiana, the speed limits along the I-10 corridor will vary depending on the areas and factors such as bridges, road work, and heavy traffic. However, speeds can commonly go up to 70 miles per hour, according to the Louisiana Department of Transportation for travel along interstate highways.

The higher the speed when vehicles collide, the higher the risk of severe injury and fatalities to all involved. Traveling along roadways such as interstates can be a danger when higher speeds combine with driver negligence to create hazardous circumstances for those traveling on the road. Jackknife, rollovers, head-on collisions, sideswipes, and rear-end collisions are commonplace accidents when vehicles travel at higher speeds.

#5. Inclement Weather

While wet weather such as thunderstorms, tropical storms, and hurricanes are the most common destructive forces of nature that occur in Louisiana, there is a possibility of snow and ice conditions during the winter months. Any wet condition on the roadways of Louisiana immediately increases the risk of an accident simply because of the slippery and slick surfaces and limited visibility.

When a rare snow or ice storm occurs in Southern Louisiana, traffic can come to a halt. I-10 and most of Louisiana’s southern roadways can’t handle dangerous winter conditions and drivers rarely know how to deal with such treacherous conditions. In the event of any storm, there is a high risk of accidents including those with semi-trucks, multiple vehicle pileups, and even single-vehicle crashes when a driver loses control.

#6. Poor Road Conditions

Louisiana is notorious for the often-deteriorating infrastructure and conditions of its roadways. Roads throughout the state and more specifically interstate highways such as the I-10 are in disarray throughout many areas and ranked as some of the worst in the country compared to other states’ maintenance, upkeep, and repair of roadways.

Dismal road conditions are a serious risk to public safety. With more and more passenger vehicles and shipment trucks traveling within and through the state, road conditions can lead to the injury or death of motorists and their passengers.

While negligent drivers are often to blame for many motor vehicle accidents, the conditions of a roadway can trigger a series of events leading to an accident, exacerbating the severity of an accident as well as the injuries or possible fatalities of victims.

The Risk of an Accident on the I-10

In one year, Louisiana motor vehicle accident records report that over 700 individuals will suffer a fatality and over 70,000 people will suffer injuries while on a roadway. Interstates make up 14 percent of all fatal accident cases in the state of Louisiana.

Although all of these accidents do not occur on interstate 10. I-10 is one of the busiest roadways in the state with the most vehicles traveling day in and day out. Vehicles that travel along this road are at an increased risk of death and injury when in Louisiana.

Can You Sue if You Are in an Accident on Interstate 10 in Louisiana?

If you are in a motor vehicle accident along interstate 10, you may wonder what your legal rights are. If you are the victim of another’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation for your damages. Damages in a car accident are not composed of just the damage to your vehicle or your medical expenses.

There are several losses you may be able to recover from after a car accident due to another driver’s fault.

Damages in a car accident case can include:

  • Medical costs
  • Income losses
  • Damage to your vehicle or property
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death damages

What Should You Do If You Are in an Interstate 10 Motor Vehicle Accident?

A car accident along an interstate such as the I-10 is a terrifying experience. After a collision on an interstate, there are certain steps you should take immediately to protect yourself as best as possible.

#1. Get to Safety

Your first priority is to get out of harm’s way. The interstate is chaotic and busy. After a crash, many cars may not notice or bother to slow down as they drive past the scene. Quickly evaluate your condition as well as the area where you are.

If you are at risk of getting hit by another vehicle, you must get to a safe area as soon as possible if you are physically able to. It is not uncommon for a second accident to take place after the initial moments after a crash on an interstate.

#2. Call 911

Once you are safe, call 911. When an accident happens on an interstate, you should always call the police. These are rarely minor accidents and there may be injuries you are unaware of that require medical attention.

Request for emergency medical services to treat and evaluate victims on the scene and the police to come to the crash scene. EMS will make sure everyone who needs medical assistance receives treatment and transportation to the nearest emergency room, while the police will gather the information of everyone involved and create a crash report of the accident.

#3. Gather Any Evidence You Can

It can be difficult at the crash scene to do much more than follow the instructions of those trying to assist you, especially when you are suffering from injuries. However, if you can do so, there are some quick steps you can take to try to help you gather information or evidence that could benefit your case later on.

If you have a mobile phone, snap a few photographs of the scene, the damage to the vehicles, and your injuries. The police will likely complete an information report with identifying information and insurance policies of all drivers and identifying information for all other passengers and any witnesses that may have come forward at the crash scene.

#4. Follow Your Treatment Instructions

After an accident, undergo an evaluation of your injuries and follow through with all treatments your medical providers prescribe. Following through with your treatment will not only give you the best chance at making the best physical recovery possible after an accident but will also ensure you do everything in your power to get better.

Contact a Louisiana Car Accident Attorney

Once you are receiving treatment for your injuries, you must think about protecting your right to recover against those responsible for your injuries and losses. The best option to do this is to hire a Louisiana car accident attorney that can represent you against an insurer and negotiate a settlement on your behalf.

Car accidents can leave you with many expenses, injuries, and pain. You do not need to figure this out on your own, nor should you. A lawyer will take the right steps to seek compensation in your case and give you the opportunity for the best possible outcome.

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