While the holiday season in New Orleans brings joy and festivities, it also carries an increased risk on the road due to the prevalence of drunk drivers causing serious and fatal car accidents.
"The year-end holiday period from Thanksgiving through New Year's is always one of the most dangerous times on U.S. roads and highways," says the National Road Safety Foundation, which states that this added danger on the road comes from "the increased risk comes from a combination of factors that include impairment from alcohol and drugs."
Drunk driving soars higher during holidays
Drunk driving accidents during the holiday season have escalated into a significant issue in recent years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), between 2017 and 2021, there were 4,500 car accident fatalities attributed to drivers under the influence of alcohol in December alone. The most alarming statistics come from December 2021, where impaired drivers were responsible for 1,013 traffic fatalities.
Recognizing the gravity of the situation, the National Road Safety Foundation, in collaboration with the National Safety Council (NSC) and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), has designated December as National Impaired Driving Awareness Month. The heightened risks during this month, particularly on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, necessitate a concerted effort to raise awareness about the dangers of impaired driving.
How bad are drunk driving accidents in Louisiana?
Drunk driving during the holidays is worse in some states compared to others. And right near the top of the list is Louisiana, which has the 15th-highest drunk driving accident rate during the holidays compared to other states nationwide.
That ranking comes from Value Penguin, which compared each state based on the number of drunk driving fatalities on Christmas and Thanksgiving between 2010 and 2018. During that period, there were 23 drunk driving accident fatalities on Christmas in Louisiana, along with 38 on Thanksgiving during that time.
What's being done to prevent drunk driving accidents?
Efforts to prevent drunk driving accidents are in full swing. The NHTSA has collaborated with state and local law enforcement agencies nationwide to run the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign, which will be active through January 1st. This program serves a dual purpose: educating drivers about the dangers of drunk driving and rigorously enforcing the drunk driving laws specific to each state.
In addition, MADD and other driver safety organizations urge drivers to plan ahead and not drive drunk, especially during the holidays. "We're asking everyone to take personal responsibility this holiday season by making a plan for a safe ride home before your celebrations begin," MADD says. "Designate a non-drinking, unimpaired driver. Take a taxi, a bus, or a train. Use a rideshare app like Uber."
What to do if you get hit by a drunk driver in New Orleans
You might think that hiring an attorney is unnecessary if you've been injured in a car accident with a drunk driver in New Orleans or elsewhere in Louisiana. However, many seemingly straightforward cases can quickly evolve into complex legal battles. That's where we step in.
Attorney John S. Williams is an experienced New Orleans car accident lawyer who brings years of experience in assisting individuals who have suffered injuries in accidents caused by impaired drivers. Our comprehensive understanding of claims involving drunk drivers in Louisiana has allowed us to build a solid track record of successful outcomes.
Get the New Orleans law firm that gets results. Contact us and schedule a free consultation with a Louisiana car accident attorney you can count on in a crisis. We proudly handle injury claims and lawsuits throughout the state.