Thanksgiving weekend was among the deadliest on Louisiana roadways this year with 15 crashes responsible for now 26 fatalities. And as we approach another busy traveling period for Christmas and New Year’s DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson said the trend doesn’t bode well for the state.
“And that places us on a really bad trajectory to exceed and potentially hit over 900 fatalities in 2021,” said Wilson.
DOTD spokesperson Rodney Mallett said after reviewing data from law enforcement a majority of the traffic fatalities were caused by speeding, and impaired or distracted driving, all of which are preventable.
“Don’t drive intoxicated, obey the traffic laws, put your phone down and pay attention to the roadway and that will help us a lot,” said Mallett.
Another disturbing factor in the number of fatal crashes in Louisiana Mallett said is the lack of seatbelt usage.
Both Wilson and Mallett said areas severely impacted by Hurricane Ida are also facing traffic hurdles and the closer we get to Christmas we’ll have even more drivers on the road and many from out of state that aren’t familiar with the roadways causing even more congestion.
And if you witness someone behind the wheel that could be impaired or driving aggressively Mallett said call law enforcement.
“Call *LSP, that’s our partners over at State Police, they have come out and said if you witness aggressive or unsafe drivers call *LSP,” said Mallett.
Last year crashes involving motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians killed 828 people in Louisiana. That is the highest number of deaths in a single year since 2008.