During the Thanksgiving holiday period, millions of people will hit the roads eager to spend time with family and friends. According to the American Automobile Association, the amount of people traveling this year is expected to increase, from over 48 million last year to 51 million this year.
In Louisiana last year, over 700 people were injured and 10 people were killed in fatal crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. In an effort to decrease crashes and keep our roads safe, the Louisiana State Police will be proactively patrolling our state’s highways during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period focusing on impaired driving and occupant protection.
Last year, nearly half of fatal crashes investigated statewide involved impaired drivers. There is a direct correlation between driving while intoxicated, lack of proper restraint use, and reckless operation when related to traffic fatalities. Alcohol can impair visual ability, alter sense of time and space, and affect the fine motor skills needed to safely operate a motor vehicle. A cold shower, hot coffee, or a meal does not make someone sober. Time is needed to metabolize alcohol out of the body. Motorists are encouraged to designate a sober driving before driving to any place where alcohol will be consumed. Buzzed driving is drunk driving.
We will also look for motorists who choose not to wear a seat belt or place their children in appropriate child restraints. Louisiana law requires that all vehicle occupants be properly restrained regardless of their seating position, day or night. While not all crashes are survivable, wearing a seat belt is the single most effective thing motorists can do to reduce the risk of injury or death in the event of a crash. Troopers urge all drivers to ensure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained. Buckle up. Every trip. Every time.
For the latest road condition information including closures and construction, visit http://www.511la.org or dial 511 from any phone in Louisiana. A 511 Louisiana phone app is also available for download as are Twitter traffic alerts from DOTD.
Motorists that witness hazardous road conditions and/or reckless drivers are encouraged to call *LSP (*577) and report that activity to the nearest Louisiana State Police troop location.
The Louisiana State Police wishes everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.