Among many happy traditions during the holiday season there is one tradition that the Louisiana State Police would like to break – the increase in serious injury and fatal crashes.

To combat this trend, troopers are joining forces with other law enforcement agencies to conduct proactive enforcement.

By understanding and following safety guidelines below, motorists can greatly reduce their chances of being involved in a serious injury or fatality crash.

Designate a sober driver

Designate a sober driver before traveling to any place where alcohol will be consumed. A designated driver is one who has had nothing alcoholic to drink.

Thousands of people are seriously injured or killed due to impaired driving each year. Never get behind the wheel if you are impaired or get in a vehicle with a driver who is impaired.

Alcohol has many effects on the body. Alcohol can impair visual ability and fine motor skills needed to operate a motor vehicle, and increase reaction times. Just one drink may cause these effects.

Call a taxi, ride-sharing service, or a trusted person for a ride or just stay put.

Buckle-up

Louisiana law requires that every person in a motor vehicle, regardless of seating     position, always remain buckled. Failure to buckle up can quickly become a tragic and fatal decision. Statistics show that the chances of surviving a violent crash rise significantly when properly restrained.

Child passenger restraints

Louisiana law requires all children to be properly restrained. To review the current law visit legis.la.gov and search RS 32:295. If your travel plans take you out of state, visit saferide4kids.com for a list of current child passenger restraint laws by state.

Distractions

Inattentive and distracted drivers account for a large number of serious crashes across the state every year. You can effectively reduce the chances of being involved in a crash by remaining focused on the task of driving while behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Pedestrians or cyclists

If you travel on foot or bicycle, wear bright clothing and remain aware of traffic on the roadway. Use proper lighting at night.

Motorcyclists

Motorcyclists must wear a proper D.O.T. approved helmet when operating a motorcycle on Louisiana roadways. Although not all crashes are survivable, properly utilizing safety equipment like approved motorcycle helmets and proper clothing greatly decrease your risk of serious injury or death.

For the latest road condition information including closures and construction, visit 511la.org or dial 511 from any phone in Louisiana. A 511 Louisiana phone app is also available for download. Motorists can sign up for Twitter traffic alerts from DOTD, as well as stay up to date with important information from the Louisiana State Police Facebook and Twitter pages.

Motorists who witness hazardous road conditions and/or reckless drivers are encouraged to call *LSP (*577) and report that activity to the nearest Louisiana State Police troop location.