Posted: Oct 24, 2011 8:07 AM by KATC Staff
Unlike many other holidays, Halloween is not a day off for most working people. Nevertheless, the absence of a day off doesn't inhibit people of all ages from partying Halloween evening-an activity that too often ends with an alcohol-related traffic crash.
Last year in Louisiana 755 crashes were recorded during the 100 hours surrounding Halloween, second only to Mardi Gras, which had 870 crashes. Halloween also ranked second behind Mardi Gras in the highest number of crashes that involved deaths or injuries. Other holidays for which crashes are tracked include Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's.
While the number of Halloween crashes and deaths in 2010 was high, it was an improvement over some recent years. For example, in 2008, 23 people died in crashes during Halloween. Louisiana and many other states have experienced declines in all traffic deaths in recent years.
"All of us involved in highway safety are extremely pleased that our highway death and injury rates in Louisiana have been declining in recent years," said Lt. Col. John LeBlanc, executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission. "While the declines have been great news, we cannot ignore that we lost more than 700 lives and suffered in excess of 68,000 injuries in crashes last year. Highway crashes tend to increase during holiday periods, including Halloween, so we're urging motorists to remain sober, wear their seat belts and watch out for kids trick-or-treating Halloween night."
The LHSC offers tips for motorists, trick-or-treaters and parents to keep this Halloween safe and enjoyable for everyone.
· Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
· If you're impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member or use public transportation.
· If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement agency.
· If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take his keys and help make other arrangements for him to get where he is going safely.
· Drive slowly and watch for children crossing the streets.
· Enter and exit driveways slowly and carefully.
· Be especially alert for children darting out between parked vehicles and from behind bushes and shrubs.