Louisiana celebrates Labor Day with major events like the Southern Decadence festival and the Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival. These activities draw large crowds onto Louisiana’s streets, increasing the number of auto accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more motor vehicle accident fatalities occurred daily on Labor Day weekend in 2018 than on any other holiday except the Fourth of July. In 2017, Louisiana lost 2.1 per 100,000 people to Labor Day accidents.
Learning how to keep yourself safe while driving on Labor Day and how to identify drunk drivers can help you avoid an accident.
A recent press release from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development cautions drivers regarding holiday driving accidents. Offices urge drivers to be aware of the increased potential for an accident and to take measures to protect themselves and others on the road.
When driving on Louisiana roads this Labor Day, stay safe by following these practical tips:
- Give yourself more time to reach your destination. Sharing the road with more cars can lead to slower traffic, so you may be tempted to drive faster to get where you need to go. Speeding contributed to 29% (11,258) of traffic accident deaths, in the U.S. in 2020. Slowing down and giving yourself extra time can keep you safe.
- Maintain at least three car lengths of space between your car and the vehicle in front of you. If they have to brake suddenly, this can give you enough time to stop and avoid a rear-end accident.
- If alcohol is a part of your weekend plans, use a designated driver, a ride-hailing service, or public transportation. Drunk driving impairs your ability to react to other drivers and can cause you to swerve into objects or people on or near the road. Do not get behind the wheel if you drink this Labor Day.
- Keep your attention on driving. With more people on the road, the potential for accidents is significantly higher. Avoid looking at your phone, adjusting the radio, or eating while you drive.
- Make sure everyone in your vehicle wears a seatbelt. Seatbelts are 45percent effective at preventing fatalities in a car crash. If you have children in the car, ensure they are seated in appropriate car seats and wearing seatbelts, per Louisiana state law.
- Check your tires and fluids to ensure you don’t break down on a busy road, and keep a well-stocked emergency kit. It should contain reflectors, a flashlight, essential tools, and a first aid kit. If you do suffer a break down, call a tow truck rather than attempt to fix it from the side of the road, where you are at increased risk of being struck by passing vehicles.
- Watch for motorcycles. They face more danger in heavy traffic because many drivers fail to notice them. Give them plenty of room by following at a safe distance and be cautious when making left-hand turns near a motorcycle rider.
Many people celebrate Labor Day with alcohol at public gatherings, and some choose to drive drunk. This behavior increases the risk of traffic accidents. In 2019, 38% of fatal accidents on Labor Day weekend involved impaired drivers nationally.
Signs a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs include:
- Driving more than 10 miles per hour below the speed limit
- Delayed reaction to traffic signals
- Erratic stopping and starting
- Stopping for no apparent reason
- Almost hitting vehicles, curbs, or other objects
Stay as far away as possible if you notice a driver under the influence. Contact 9-1-1 using a hands-free device, have a passenger call 9-1-1, or pull over to make the call. Give dispatch your exact location and as much information on the vehicle as possible, including the license plate number and the direction of travel.
The New Orleans auto accident lawyers at Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers can help you determine legal steps to take after a wreck, whether it occurred on Labor Day or any other day of the year. If you suffered injuries from a negligent driver, you probably have huge medical bills and other accident-related expenses. You can benefit from speaking with a knowledgeable attorney to learn your legal rights and options in this situation.
We can help assess your case and discuss your next steps after a collision. We offer high-quality legal service regardless of your ability to pay. We care about our clients and want to help you make the best possible legal decisions after your accident. Contact us for a free consultation.
Disclaimer: This content has been reviewed by Chad Lederman, Director of Legal Operations at our New Orleans office.
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