A Louisiana man is facing five counts of vehicular homicide, two counts of first-degree vehicular negligent injury, one count of DWI (second offense), one count of reckless operation, and one count of driving left of center, following a head-on collision that killed five people and critically injured two others.
The Louisiana State Police arrested 30 year-old Brett Gerald early Thursday morning in connection with the crash. Authorities say Gerald was traveling north in a southbound lane of traffic when he slammed into an oncoming pickup truck. The seven occupants of the truck were traveling home from church when the accident occurred.
The driver, 64 year-old Brenda Gaines, was killed, along with four passengers: 33 year-old Denise Gaines, 35 year-old Angela Mosely, 12 year-old Diamond Johnson, and 6 year-old Jyren Johnson. The other two occupants, both teenagers, remain in critical condition.
An accident like this one is a solemn reminder that roadway safety is of paramount importance during the summer months. Our Joplin personal injury lawyers would like to warn motorists about the increased numbers of car accidents that our area typically experiences at this time of year. MSN Money reports that the deadliest days for crashes are approaching fast: the Fourth of July is the most hazardous day on U.S. roadways, while August ranks as the deadliest month of the entire year. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) records continuously report that more Americans are killed because of car accidents in August than any other month of the year.
According to NHTSA, August has a death rate of 1.09 per million miles traveled. In second place is September with a death rate of 1.08. March may be your best time to hit the road, as it ranks as the safest with a death rate of 0.94.
There was an average of 93 people killed every day in U.S. traffic accidents in 2009, meaning a life was lost every 16 minutes.
Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that August is the deadliest month as well. The government reports that, from 2005 to 2009, seven of the 25 deadliest driving days were in the month of August. Officials believe that the high death rate for this month is directly related to the increased number of roadway travelers. In general, the summer months are typically a time when people are traveling more miles than any other time of the year.
We typically witness more fatal accidents during weekend days than during weekdays. Weekends are a time that Americans use to get out, run errands, visit loved ones and take road trips. It's also a time when drunk driving increases.
Daily death rate averages for 2009:
• Saturday: 123 deaths
• Sundays: 107 deaths
• Mondays: 79 deaths
• Tuesday: 69 deaths
• Wednesdays: 78 deaths
• Thursdays: 84 deaths
• Fridays: 102 deaths
The IIHS reports that more than 33,800 people died because of motor-vehicle accidents in the United States in 2009.
Car accidents affected the following age groups:
• People ages 13 to 15 constituted 2% of all traffic deaths
• Ages 16 to 19: account for 9% of deaths
• Ages 20 to 34: account for 31% of deaths
• Ages 35 to 49: account for 23% of deaths
• Ages 50 to 69: account for 22% of deaths
• Ages 70 and up: account for 12% of deaths
The deadliest month on the road, by Gina Roberts-Grey, MSN MoneyAttorney meetings by appointment only