My name is senior Trooper Johnnie Brown with Louisiana State Police, Troop A. In February 2008, Troop A investigated 10 fatal crashes, which resulted in 12 deaths. When compared to February 2007, this represents a 250% increase in the number of deaths. Throughout the year, troopers highlight three factors that contribute to traffic deaths; impaired driving, failure to wear a seatbelt, and speeding. However, after examining the crashes in February 2008, the most recognizable violations were improper passing, driving left of center, and driving off the roadway. These violations can usually be attributed to inattentive driving.
One study concludes nearly 80% of crashes and 65% of near crashes involve some form of driver inattention within three seconds prior to the crash. Inattentive driving occurs in many forms: retrieving an item you dropped; having a discussion with your passengers; or in its most popular form, situations related to your cell phone. The age groups most at risk are teens and young adults.
Louisiana State Police will continue to do our part by providing free educational opportunities, issuing citations and making arrests. But we can use your help. When you drive, maintain focus. Avoid cell phone use and other distractions. As a parent, set an example for young drivers. As one of the more than two million individuals licensed with the privilege to drive on our highways, we ask; will you help us save lives? In doing so, you may save your own.