This Memorial Day weekend, we can expect 42.5 million people who will travel more than 50 miles.
That's about a seven percent increase from last year. That includes more drivers. More drivers means higher chances for crashes.
The most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your family, buckle up! Unfortunately here in Louisiana, there's still too many who don't. Louisiana State Police Troop I's Thomas Gossen says, "Unfortunately, we're behind the curve a little bit. We are, we lack in seat belt usage by a lot. Of all of the fatalities we have right now, just under 50% weren't wearing a seat belt."
Troopers would rather not need to visit surviving families, especially when a death is preventable. Gossen adds, "We have to make death notifications to someone who was in a very minor crash, who would have ultimately walked away. But now we're making a death notification because they decided to not wear that seat belt. It's something very simple."
And of course, the usual tips. Don't drive impaired, and don't get distracted. "You don't have your eyes on the road when you're looking at your phone. If you're texting, you're not driving." says Gossen. "By law, you're supposed to have both hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. I think we've all been in close calls where we've almost been in a crash because you're looking down at your phone."
And don't forget the kids. Gossen adds, "Unfortunately there's about a 95-98 percent misuse rate when it comes to child safety seats." Allow yourself plenty of time. Don't get angry while driving, and this way you'll be with us after the weekend.