The National Safety Council finds motor vehicle deaths in 2016 rose 6% nationally from last year and in Louisiana they’ve increased by 5% since 2014. Ken Kolosh with the NSC says they blame distracted driving for the increase.

“Drivers are transitioning from cell phone conversations, which were dangerous enough, to texting and other activities on their phone, which is even worse. That is one of the concerns.”

Kolosh says crash fatalities could also be on the rise, because young drivers are not adequately prepared to get behind the wheel.

“We’re seeing about a 10% increase regarding fatalities and crashes involving young drivers. These crashes are occurring to drivers as old as 19 and 20.”

The National Safety Council report finds that 661 died in motor-vehicle deaths in 2016, nationally the number exceeded 40,000 for the first time since 2007. Kolosh says another concern is alcohol related fatalities are on the rise, but there are ways lawmakers can address it.

“When it comes to decreasing the alcohol deaths, we know that mandatory ignition interlocks are a great first step and those for convicted drunk drivers.”