Lafayette, La. Halloween in Louisiana can be seriously scary on the roads, according to the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.
Every year since 2005, Halloween in Louisiana has ranked first or second among holidays with the most vehicle crashes that hurt or kill people, according to statistics from the Louisiana Highway Safety Research Group at LSU.
A combination of distracted or impaired drivers and trick-or-treat pedestrians at night has made Halloween more dangerous than New Year’s Eve, LHSC Executive Director Lisa Freeman said.
“When you look at the number of fatal and injury crashes, Halloween and Mardi Gras are the two holidays that consistently are at the top of the list,” Freeman said. “Last year in Louisiana, 878 people were injured, and 10 people were killed in vehicle crashes during the Halloween period. And those actually are the lowest Halloween numbers in five years in Louisiana.”
Alcohol-related injuries and deaths are too common during Halloween, Freeman said. In 2017 in Louisiana, three people were killed and 61 were injured in crashes involving drunk drivers.
“If you’re going to be drinking on Halloween, plan ahead and have a designated driver, or call a ride-share service,” Freeman said. “Even one drink is enough to impair your judgment. It’s not worth risking your life or the life of innocent passengers and pedestrians.”
For those who see family or friends who try to drive when they’re impaired, Freeman said there’s only one course of action: stop them.
“Take away their keys, get them a ride or drive them home yourself,” Freeman said. “Children are outside after dark on Halloween, running across streets and not paying attention. By stopping an impaired driver, you are potentially saving the life of a child. We all have a duty to watch out for each other and be responsible road users.”