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Mardi Gras is one of New Orleans’ most popular annual events, with over one million tourists flocking from across the nation to celebrate each year. However, the number of people attending the celebration can make such a large event dangerous.

When event organizers fail to ensure sufficient room to move about during the celebration, attendees can fall victim to crowd crush, a dangerous and potentially fatal phenomenon.

Popular tourist events like Mardi Gras parades and celebrations are at high risk of crowd crush when mismanaged. Read on to Learn about the causes and dangers of crowd crush and how Dudley DeBosier can help if you suffer injuries when celebrating.

What is Crowd Crush?

Having too many people occupy a confined space dramatically increases the risk of injury or death. According to Research suggests that it becomes impossible to move freely when a crowd of seven or more people occupies one square meter. Those trapped in the crowd begin to flow with the movement around them.

If someone trapped in the crowd is crushed by other people or pushed up against a fixed object, like a wall or fence, they can sustain serious injury or even suffocate to death in a phenomenon known as crowd crush.

Crowd crush also increases the dangers of tripping or falling. When someone is trapped in a crowd crush and loses their balance, others around them are pushed into the newly unoccupied space. The person who fell cannot get up and may be stepped on or tripped over by other occupants of the crowd.

Highly attended events like Mardi Gras, concerts, and street festivals are at heightened risk of crowd crush. Such events see an influx of tourists, far more people occupying the streets than usual, and blockades put in place to try to corral crowd movement.

Drinking alcohol and reckless behavior like pushing or shoving can also increase someone’s risk of falling or becoming trapped against a barrier, which can be deadly in crowded spaces.

What Causes Crowd Crush?

While crowd crush is primarily the result of overcrowding, public officials are also responsible for implementing crowd control strategies. Event organizers are expected to create and uphold a crowd management strategy and prevent potentially dangerous overcrowding.

If they fail to implement any crowd management tactics or create a situation likely to result in crowd crush, they can be held liable for subsequent injuries.

Mardi Gras is one of Louisiana’s deadliest annual celebrations due to drunk driving accidents and crowded streets. Though New Orleans public officials make a significant effort to protect Mardi Gras celebrants from crowd crush, no prevention methods are perfect.

If a crowd crush event or other negligent act injures you or a loved one during Mardi Gras, the New Orleans personal injury lawyers at Dudley DeBosier can help you explore your legal options.

Protecting Yourself from Crowd Crush

Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to avoid being injured in a crowd crush scenario. However, you can take steps to reduce the risk of injury. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you take the following steps if you are trapped in a crowd crush:

  • Stay calm. Panicking interferes with your ability to find a way out of the situation. It can also cause you to hyperventilate, potentially increasing the risk of suffocation. Remain calm, breathe as normally as possible, and take action to keep yourself upright.
  • Place your hands in front of your chest. Adopting a boxing stance gives your chest room to expand, reducing the risk of suffocation.
  • Keep your feet on the ground. Since you cannot easily move in a crowd crush situation, lifting a foot or standing on tiptoe can cause you to lose your balance. Instead, keep your feet flat on the ground and stay upright.
  • Move diagonally. Much of the flow from crowd crush is the result of people trying to move straight ahead, backward, or to the side. Moving diagonally helps you avoid this and make it to the crowd’s edge and out of the crush.
  • Don’t push back against other people. In a crowd crash scenario, others have little control over where they’re going. Resisting other people’s movements or pushing back can cause someone to fall.
  • Curl up if you lose your footing. If you fall over or are pushed to the ground, curl up in a ball or fetal position to protect your vital organs.

Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers Wish You a Safe Mardi Gras

Although Mardi Gras can be a dangerous time of year due to crowds and excessive drinking, it’s also a time for celebration, excitement, and joy. Many attendees agree that Mardi Gras in New Orleans’s unique atmosphere and celebratory activities cannot be experienced anywhere else. While you should take steps to protect yourself from injury, that shouldn’t take away from your celebrations.

The legal team at Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers wishes you a wonderful and safe time while celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans this year. Whether you’re a Louisiana local or simply traveling in for the events, you deserve to have a Mardi Gras that’s fun, free of injury, and full of great memories.

Unfortunately, the risk of personal injury during Mardi Gras is real. If you are injured while celebrating, contact us for a free consultation to discuss the circumstances of your injuries and learn how we can help you recover damages.  

This content has been reviewed by Chad Lederman, Director of Legal Operations at our New Orleans office.

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