Family traditions are what make the New Year’s holiday season the most wonderful time of the year! Celebrations with friends and family create memories that last a lifetime.
However, there is one tradition that our Louisiana State Police family would like to break—the increase in serious injury and fatal crashes during the holidays. To combat this trend, troopers are joining forces with other law enforcement agencies to conduct proactive enforcement.
By understanding and following the safety guidelines below, motorists can greatly reduce their chances of being involved in a serious injury or fatality crash.
Designate a sober driver
· Thousands of people are seriously injured or killed due to impaired driving each year. Never get behind the wheel if you are impaired or get in a vehicle with a driver who is impaired.
· Alcohol has many effects on the body. Alcohol can impair visual ability, impair fine motor skills needed to operate a motor vehicle, and increase reaction times. Just one drink may cause these effects.
· Designate a sober driver before traveling to any place where alcohol will be consumed. A designated driver is one who has had nothing alcoholic to drink.
· Call a taxi, ride-sharing service, or a trusted person for a ride or just stay put.
· Louisiana law requires that every person in a motor vehicle, regardless of seating position, always remain buckled. Troopers urge all drivers and passengers in motor vehicles to understand that failure to buckle up can quickly become a tragic and fatal decision. Statistics show that the chances of surviving a violent crash rise significantly when properly restrained.
Child passenger restraints
· Louisiana law requires all children to be properly restrained. To review the current law, visit http://www.legis.la.gov and search RS 32:295. If your travel plans take you out of our state, please visit http://www.saferide4kids.com for a list of current child passenger restraint laws by state.
· Inattentive and distracted drivers account for a large number of serious crashes across the state every year. You can effectively reduce the chances of being involved in a crash by remaining focused on the task of driving while behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Pedestrians or bicyclists
· If you travel on foot or bicycle, wear bright clothing and remain aware of traffic on the roadway. Use proper lighting at night.
· Motorcyclists must wear a proper D.O.T. approved helmet when operating a motorcycle on Louisiana roadways. Although not all crashes are survivable, properly utilizing safety equipment like approved motorcycle helmets and proper clothing greatly decrease your risk of serious injury or death.
For the latest road condition information including closures and construction, visit www.511la.org or dial 511 from any phone in Louisiana. A 511 Louisiana phone app is also available for download. Motorists can sign up for Twitter traffic alerts from DOTD, as well as stay up to date with important information from the Louisiana State Police Facebook and Twitter pages.
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.