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State police urge safe driving over Christmas holiday

Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 5:18 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - We’re just two days away from Christmas, and with more people on the road this weekend, staying vigilant behind the wheel is more important than ever.

Lousiana State Police are urging drivers to be careful, especially after more than a dozen people died on Louisiana roads this Thanksgiving.

On Thanksgiving and the 3 days afterward, state police said they responded to 10 deadly crashes, and of those crashes, 16 people died.

That’s a big jump from last year when state police investigated seven crashes in which eight people died.

After losing 16 people in crashes over the Thanksgiving holiday, state police are pushing drivers who travel for Christmas to be as safe as possible.

“The message is the same every time: don’t drive impaired, utilize your seatbelt - everyone within the vehicle needs to utilize their seatbelt. And also, don’t drive distracted,” Troop D Public Information Officer Derek Senegal said.

Senegal is urging travelers to avoid distractions.

“You may not even be the cause of the crash - crashes are preventable. You may not be the cause. But not being distracted on the road because you may have some family members in the car. Make sure you pay attention to what’s going on around you,” Senegal said.

Drivers should expect to see an increase in patrol cars over the weekend.

“We are working with other agencies around the area,” Senegal said. “So, we want to make sure everyone is safe, has a really good Christmas weekend or holiday season, you know. Then we’re going to roll into the new year.”

Senegal said state police are trying to slow the curve for the year.

“So far this year, Lake Charles has had the Troop D area which consists of Allen Parish, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, and also Jefferson Davis Parish. We’ve had 32 fatal crashes with 33 people who have died,” Senegal said.

If you get a phone call, hand the phone to a passenger or pull over to answer.

Make sure you’re not too tired when you start your trip and practice defensive driving by watching out for other drivers who aren’t being safe.

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