Staying safe during Mardi Gras in New Orleans
New Orleans is known for its laissez-faire, Big Easy style. Especially during Mardi Gras, locals and tourists alike take advantage of the season of celebration to have a great time and forget their everyday stresses.
But beware: too many drivers leaving their worries behind during Mardi Gras get behind the wheel after they’ve had too much to drink. As a result, Mardi Gras is also called the deadliest state holiday in Louisiana.
Drunk Driving Car Accidents in New Orleans
Mardi Gras is one of the most exciting times here in Louisiana, but it can also be a very dangerous time as a driver or a pedestrian. Remember to act responsibly, when you’re behind the wheel and when you’re walking the parade routes. On average, a drunk driver kills someone every 45 minutes. About 30% of Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some point in their lives. About 100,000 deaths are related to excessive alcohol consumption each year. The risk of drunk driving car accidents affecting you is higher than you might think.
Mardi Gras parade personal injuries are common
As Nola.com reported, February 2010 was the deadliest year on record for drunk driving related Mardi Gras injuries. To decrease this devastating statistic, last year the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission extended grants to over 40 police agencies to increase troops to enforce DWI laws throughout the state. For Mardi Gras 2013, they will almost certainly do the same.
Another alarming risk during Mardi Gras is that of pedestrian accident injuries, when parade-goers are struck and injured or killed by floats. In New Orleans 2008, a rider was struck and killed by an Endymion float while disembarking near the end of its route. In Marksville in 2008, a driver didn’t realize his younger brother was standing between his pickup truck and the float it was towing, and he drove forward, pinning his little brother under the float and killing him. In Carencro in 2009, a man fell off a Mardi Gras float which then rolled over him and killed him.
Whether you’re riding in a float this year, or standing on the neutral ground waiting for that coveted rare throw, never forget simple safety protocol: do not lean over the float railings, and do not step too close to the float.
Avoid parade accident injuries in New Orleans during Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras should be a time for fun and revelry, but if you are planning to drink, do not operate or horseplay around a motor vehicle. With statistics like these, drunk driving or riding on a float during Mardi Gras carries extremely high risk of killing or seriously injuring yourself or someone else, or getting arrested for a DWI. Nothing could be more sobering.
Plan ahead and choose a designated driver for the evening. Program taxi cab company phone numbers in your phone, so you have them when you need them most. Take advantage of the newly renovated street car lines in New Orleans, and use public transit to get to and from parades, parties, and the French Quarter.
The personal injury attorneys at Morris Bart urge you to think about your safety for Mardi Gras. Celebrate Carnival with safety in mind, and enjoy everything New Orleans has to offer. Have fun and stay safe in New Orleans Mardi Gras!