POSTED: Friday, March 29, 2013 - 9:30am
UPDATED: Friday, March 29, 2013 - 9:34am
Louisiana — From enjoying backyard crawfish boils to traveling to the beach or to visit family members, Louisiana people observe the long Easter weekend in a variety of ways. The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission reminds motorists that roads will likely be busier than usual for the Easter holiday, March 29-31.
"Any time we have a three-day weekend, we can expect to see increased traffic on our roads, which raises the possibility of more fatal and injury crashes," said Lt. Col. John LeBlanc, executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission. "We urge everyone to buckle up, avoid drinking and driving, observe speed limits and keep focused on your driving."
Research shows that over 85 percent of driver fatalities involve one of three factors: lack of seat belt use, alcohol or aggressive driving. In 2011, the most recent year for which final statistics are available, 701 people were killed in crashes in Louisiana. Crash deaths in the state declined for the period 2008-2011, but preliminary data for 2012 indicates a modest increase for that year.
More fatal crashes occur Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays than on other days of the week, and many of those weekend crashes occur in the late evening or early morning hours. With the Friday before Easter being a holiday for many workers and students, crash risks are likely to increase during the long weekend.
"We remind all motorists to keep in mind that Louisiana law requires all vehicle occupants to wear safety belts or be seated in an appropriate child safety seat," said LeBlanc. "More than half of the people killed in Louisiana crashes in 2011 were not buckled up."