Louisiana Department of Insurance
Volume 11, Issue 12
December 2011

Commissioner Jim Donelon
Theodore "Ted" Haik, Jr., Chair
Jeff Albright, Vice Chair

Raymond J. Aleman, Sr.
Lee Ann Alexander
Paul Buffone
Sheriff Greg Champagne
Representative Page Cortez
Manuel DePascual
Nick Gautreaux
Michael Guy
Lance "Wes" Hataway
Representative Chuck Kleckley
LTC John A. LeBlanc
Senator Eric LaFleur
Ann Metrailer
Robert Moorman
Senator Dan "Blade" Morrish

Representative Chris Roy, Jr.
Stephen Schrempp
Earl Taylor
Rina Thomas

Terrell B. Moss, Director

David Evans,
Supervisor/Research Analyst

Katie Walsh, Administrative Assist./Research Analyst

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Driving During the Holidays…

Driving during the holidays can be stressful and even dangerous. Whether fighting traffic heading to the mall for last minute Christmas shopping or travelling over the river and through the woods to visit friends and family, it is easy to become frustrated and feel like we are surrounded by terrible drivers.  Unfortunately, in Louisiana, this may hold true.

Data from three sources that has been compiled and ranked by one of the online auto insurance shopping sites suggests that Louisiana may indeed have the worst drivers in the nation. The data was taken from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on the number of driving fatalities in each state, the “American Motorists Association” records of which states distribute the most traffic tickets and Mothers Against Drunk Driving calculation of the number of drunk drivers reported in each state. In each of the categories, Louisiana was in the top ten for “worst driver factors”, except for one—failure to obey.

The “.com’s” analysis also highlighted several other driving trends:

  • The “safest drivers” tend to be from Northern states; nine of the ten “worst” states are in the South.  Massachusetts has the lowest recorded instance of driver fatalities per vehicle miles travelled.
  • Largely rural states make up many of the “worst driver” states. However, how much people drive was also reflected in the survey. States with public transportation available will typically have lower traffic fatalities, while fatalities in states with drivers hitting the open roads tend to be higher.
  • Traffic tickets are not much of a deterrent when compared to fatality and drunk driver rankings, according to the “.com’s” analysis.

Remember that bad driving could cause crashes that could lead to higher auto insurance rates! Louisiana’s car insurance rates have steadily climbed since Hurricane Katrina and are now the highest in the nation. The Louisiana Property and Casualty Insurance Commission continues to explore options to increase the availability and affordability of insurance. 1

Source 1: http://www.carinsurancecomparison.com/which-states-have-the-worst-drivers/

‘Tis the Season… 2011 Hurricane Season Recap

November 30 marked the end of the 2011 Hurricane Season, which was forecast to be an “above average” hurricane season. The season, which began on June 1, ended with 19 storms, of which, seven became hurricanes and three became major hurricanes. The majority of storms this season remained in the Atlantic Ocean.

Louisiana was spared any major damage this hurricane season. Tropical Storm Lee was the only storm to make landfall in Louisiana. The storm made landfall in Louisiana in early September, and was the first subtropical or tropical cyclone to make landfall in Louisiana since Hurricane Gustav in 2008.

The citizens of Louisiana have a good reason to count their blessings this season, as other parts of the country did not fare so well dealing with storms, floods and tornadoes.

Keep Your Holidays Merry and Bright… Protect Vehicles from Holiday Auto Theft

According to the 2010 National Crime Information Center Holiday Vehicle Theft Analysis report, not only are people busy ringing in the New Year, auto thieves are also busy with their own holiday festivities. New Year’s Day was recorded as the leading holiday for vehicle thefts in 2010 according to the report, and Christmas Day had the fewest reported thefts.

In 2010, 20,995 vehicles were reported stolen nationwide on 11 holidays, as compared to 22,991 vehicles reported stolen for those same holidays in 2009.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends using common sense as a defense against car theft. When parking and exiting your vehicle, try to run through a short checklist in your mind:

  • Do I have the key?
  • Are the doors and windows shut and locked?
  • Am I parked in a well-lit area?
  • Are there any valuables that could be seen?

Additionally, NHTSA recommends that drivers park in their garage, not the driveway, whenever possible and to never, for any reason, leave the area while a vehicle is still running. Make sure to protect your vehicle from theft not only during the holidays, but all throughout the year. Follow these tips and keep your holidays merry and bright!

Merry Christmas And Happy New Year To All!