BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 42,915 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes in 2021. 

This week, on Memorial Day weekend, Louisiana’s Governor issued a statement, pointing to local statistics related to motor vehicle deaths on Louisiana’s roads and highways. 

Governor John Bel Edwards said, “Louisiana saw a historic, alarming rise in traffic fatalities in 2021. This Memorial Day Weekend, I am urging Louisianans to exercise caution on the roads. Many fatalities can be prevented by slowing down, putting down the phone, and wearing a seatbelt.”

New statistics project that Louisiana saw 987 traffic fatalities in 2021, which is the highest percentage change the state has experienced in one year since crash fatality records have been kept. 

Early numbers for 2022 reveal that this year alone there have already been nearly 300 fatalities. 

The largest contributing factors to statewide crash fatalities in 2021 were:

  • 530 roadway departures
  • 390 alcohol-involved
  • 338 no restraint
  • 245 young-driver (15-24) involved
  • 227 distracted or inattentive

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) suggests that drivers follow the safety tips listed below: 

  • Drive carefully.
  • Avoid driving while distracted.
  • Allow for extra driving time.
  • Make sure there is plenty of room between vehicles.
  • Wear your seatbelt.
  • Don’t drive impaired.