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Louisiana drivers paying more for insurance to ride on dangerous roads

With a fatality rate of three people for every 200,000 miles driven, Louisiana roads are the sixth most dangerous in the country. (FOX 8 Photo) With a fatality rate of three people for every 200,000 miles driven, Louisiana roads are the sixth most dangerous in the country. (FOX 8 Photo)
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

Drivers in Louisiana have the unenviable distinction of paying more for insurance than in any other state. They also drive in a state with one of the highest fatality rates in the country.

"The white truck hit us in the back and forced us into the Acura," said accident victim Stephanie Cunningham.

It's happened four times to Micah Boswell since moving here from Arkansas five years ago.

"There was one when I was driving down the interstate, and a diesel sideswiped my car," Boswell said.

They’re accidents that require thousands of dollars of repair work, feeding into a problem that has Louisiana tops in the nation.

"If you look at the five-year average in premiums, Louisiana has the highest in the country," said Chris Kahn with Bankrate.com.

Louisiana drivers pay an average of $1,280 a year for insurance, about a third more than the national average.

"We work a crash every two minutes, we work an injury crash every seven point five  minutes, and a fatality crash every 12 hours," said Trooper Evan Harrell with Louisiana State Police.

With a fatality rate of three people for every 200,000 miles driven, Louisiana roads are the sixth most dangerous in the country.

Part of the problem could be a post-Katrina reality. The state has grown since the storm and now has about three percent more drivers than it did five years ago, putting more cars on the road, and more people in harm's way.

"You're always going to see more crashes when you see more vehicles on the roadway," Harrell said.

One of Micah Boswell's hit and run accidents involved a car parked on Amelia St.

"The worst one was right here. Someone rear-ended me and just left," Boswell said.

"If you're parking on the street instead of the garage, park in the garage and tell your insurance carrier," Kahn said.

And there are other things to do to try and whittle down costs.

"The first thing I would do is call my insurance carrier, and find out what I can do," Kahn said.

Though this fender bender appears minor, it won't be cheap.

"We have front and back, so it's extensive," Cunningham said.

Another factor driving up Louisiana insurance costs is the cost of repairs.  Louisiana ranked in the top ten of most expensive states to get your car fixed after a crash.

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