Staying Safe During Spring Break On Louisiana Roadways
Spring break has long been a time that families plan to take their vacations. It signals the end of winter and many are by that time ready for some sun and fun. This may be especially true after the last couple of years as people have been cooped up and are looking forward to a change of scenery. Yet not everyone will be jetting off to a distant tropical paradise.
Many travelers won’t be going out of the country, and some won’t even be leaving the state. Louisiana offers many local spring break destinations and is happy to encourage residents to pile in the family SUV and head for such places as Shreveport, Alexandria, or Lake Charles.
Of course, as more motorists take to the highways in festive spirits with family and friends, the chances of being involved in car accidents correspondingly increase. Being aware of the increased risk and taking precautions can help ensure motorists stay safe on Louisiana roads during spring break.
At Charbonnet Law Firm, we understand spring fever and the desire to hit the road and see what our beautiful state has to offer. We wish everyone safe travels. But should the unexpected happen, our New Orleans car accident lawyers are here to help.
Traffic Safety on Louisiana Roads
Fatality motor vehicle accidents reached an all-time high in Louisiana in 2021, according to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LDTD). Preliminary numbers indicate there were 997 fatalities on public highways – nearly three people each day. The new number tops the previous high of 993 from 2007.
The recent surge in traffic fatalities – up from 828 in 2020 – is unacceptable to Louisiana’s Governor Edwards who says it would be easy to reverse the alarming uptick in traffic fatalities if people would be a little more patient with each other and make an effort to obey traffic laws.
Indeed, many of the traffic accidents resulting in fatalities across the state could have been prevented had the drivers made better choices. The two most frequent causes of highway fatalities are:
- Impaired driving – alcohol, drugs
- Distracted driving – cell phone, eating, talking with passengers
Crash data collected between 2017 and 2020 shows that 40% of traffic fatalities involve alcohol.
More People Traveling During Spring Break
According to a 2022 survey by Vacasa on spring travel trends, more than half of Americans are planning to travel this spring, with 37% set to travel during spring break. What’s more, about 75% of those who plan to travel will not be leaving the United States, and 23% plan to stick fairly close to home. And more people plan to visit new destinations than places they have gone before, which means they may be unfamiliar with the roads they are traveling on.
More people traveling shorter distances to new places means there will be more drivers on the roads during spring break who may be less certain about where they are going. To stay safe while driving with increased traffic on the roads requires awareness, preparation, and the ability to stay cool when frustrating driving situations occur.
Tips for Staying Safe on the Roads During Spring Break
The best way to stay safe on the roads during spring break or at any time is to keep your vehicle in good working condition, obey traffic laws, and keep your attention on the business of driving. Some specific things that are known to increase the chances of a safe driving experience are:
- Vehicle maintenance – Make sure your vehicle is ready for whatever kinds of weather, road, or traffic conditions might be encountered. Check oil, tire pressure, fluid levels, windshield wipers, spare tire, and anything else that is recommended for your vehicle.
- Be ready to deal with unexpected conditions – You may encounter rain or snow. There may be road construction. Traffic may be congested. Other drivers may be impaired or distracted.
- Obey traffic signs and signals – Traffic laws are designed to make the roads safer for all drivers but require compliance in order to be effective.
- Wear seatbelts – The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that roughly half of the passenger vehicle occupants killed on the nation’s roads in 2019 were not wearing seatbelts.
- Do not drive if you have had too much to drink – Call an Uber. You’ll be glad you did.
- Don’t let yourself be distracted – Responding to that text can wait. You can talk to passengers in the back seat without looking at them. Somebody else can figure out why the music keeps cutting out. If it requires you to take your eyes off the road, don’t do it while driving.
- Be aware of increased non-motor traffic – Spring break brings out more pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Don’t drive if you are sleep-deprived – Being drowsy dulls your senses and slows reaction times. According to the National Safety Council, you are three times more likely to get in an accident if you drive fatigued. And drowsy driving crashes account for close to 800 fatalities and about 50,000 injuries every year.
It May be Necessary to Seek Help After a Car Accident During Spring Break
Certainly, traffic safety will be improved when people make a conscious effort to use safer driving practices. But there are times that traffic accidents happen despite the best efforts to avoid them. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to anticipate what another driver is going to do and be able to take evasive action in time.
With more than 50 years of combined legal experience, the personal injury attorneys at Charbonnet Law Firm, LLC, have successfully represented clients injured in car accidents in New Orleans, Metairie, and throughout Louisiana. If you are injured in a car accident in Louisiana during spring break or at any time throughout the year, you can count on the integrity and professionalism of Charbonnet Law Firm, LLC, to get you the best possible recovery for your damage claim.
Call our office at 504-294-3910 or contact us here to schedule a free consultation.