With July 4th gas prices at their lowest in 12 years, more traffic than usual is expected on the nation's roadways this year.  With that comes the likelihood of more traffic fatalities.  The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that as many as 582 Americans will lose their lives on the road over the holiday, with another 66,000 injured.  That's the NSC's highest prediction since 2006.

Last year in Louisiana, five families lost loved ones during the 4th of July holiday.  One fatality was Sterlington Police Officer David Elahi who, while on duty, was struck and killed by an impaired driver.

The fact is, July 4th is one of the nation's deadliest holidays of the year because of impaired driving.  Increase your chances of arriving to your destination safely by not drinking and driving.  Louisiana State Police ask that you follow these driving tips:

  • Designate a sober driver before you head out to a party.
  • If you've been drinking, do not get behind the wheel for any reason.
  • Call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, or use public transit.
  • Try NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app that allows you to call a taxi or friend, and identify your location so you can be picked up.
  • If someone you know has been drinking, stop him or her from driving.

And just in case you decide you're the one person in the world who can safely drive drunk, Louisiana Troopers will be looking for you. Louisiana State Police and local law enforcement agencies across the state will be participating in the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.  They will be working together to remove impaired drivers from roadways through patrol efforts and DWI checkpoints. They will also be making sure that occupants of all ages are properly restrained in their vehicles.

In addition, Louisiana State Police ask that you observe the "Move Over!" law when you approach an emergency vehicle that is stopped on the shoulder with its emergency lights on.  The law requires that you reduce your speed and change lanes to give officers and first-responders room to safely operate.  Those who disregard the law are subject to being ticketed and fined.

You can help keep fellow citizens safe this holiday by reporting impaired drivers or hazardous driving situations by dialing *577 on your cell phone, or by calling 911.