Mardi Gras Road Safety Tips | News

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LAFAYETTE, La. – This year, the number of car accidents in Louisiana has reached an all-time high according to state officials from the Department of Transportation and Development.

Many streets here in Acadiana, such as the corner of Johnston and Bertrand, will be packed as parade routes and party floats hit the road following Mardi Gras celebrations.

Just a few months ago, the DOTD reported that Louisiana sadly experienced its deadliest weekend in over 7 years, in which 15 car crashes resulted in the deaths of 20 people. It was during the Thanksgiving holiday, in an effort to avert another tragedy. The Acadiana Planning Commission has some advice for you.

“Don’t drive impaired first and what should be there with that is reminding you to buckle up,” Czajkowski said.

Remember to also take note of these tips from the Department of Homeland Security. These are items the DHS says you should have in your emergency kit.

-Equip your car with a roadside emergency kit. Make sure you have jumper cables, flares or reflective triangle, ice scraper, cell phone charger or power bank, blanket, map, and kitty litter or sand for better tire traction in icy conditions.

-Sleep. Sleep well before driving.

-Leave early. Expect heavy traffic.

– Buckle up. Make sure all passengers are properly strapped in regardless of distance.

-Avoid distractions. Make sure your cell phone is put away.

– Move at a safe speed. Be aware of road conditions, such as bad weather and road repairs, to keep you and your passengers safe.

– Drive sober. Designate a sober driver if you plan to drink. In 2017, there were 10,874 deaths in traffic accidents involving drivers under the influence of alcohol.

This year’s Mardi Gras celebrations will be the first of many the state has held in more than two years. With a number of locals and tourists on the streets, State Trooper Thomas Gossen says to be careful because many accidents are preventable. Except for things beyond our control like wildlife or lightning.

“You know right now we have an average of every 9 hours someone in Louisiana has died of a death and that was our statistic last year. The average before that was about every 12 hours “, said Gossen.

Gossen and the Acadiana Planning Commission say they understand these safety tips may sound like a broken record, but say they still come across people who don’t take proper precautions, such as wearing seatbelts.

“You’re really tempting fate by engaging in these risky behaviors like that,” Gossen said.

If you are planning to celebrate Mardi Gras, visit this website.

https://www.lafayettetravel.com/events/festivals/mardi-gras/

Here you will find a list of parades across Acadiana with dates, times and highlights for each route when you click on a given parade.

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