Mardi Gras Accidents: 5 Tips for a Safe Carnival Season
The opportunity to become completely immersed in the unique culture of Mardi Gras is one of the many aspects that make Louisiana such a fun place to live. Whether longtime resident, new arrival, or just visiting for a weekend, Mardi Gras season can be an unforgettable experience for the whole family.
When Mardi Gras Goes Wrong
Most of the time, carnival season can be observed without any major snags. Everyone has fun, then returns home with a few more pounds of beads. However, albeit rarely, a perfect storm of drunken misbehavior, parade traffic, and unruly crowds can lead to a Mardi Gras tragedy.
The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission recognizes Mardi Gras as the single most dangerous holiday for car accidents on state highways. In 2015, 599 fatal and injurious crashes, 10 deaths, and 1,005 injuries were reported over the course of the Friday-Tuesday extended Mardi Gras weekend. In New Orleans alone, an average of 100 accidents occur on the Saturday preceding Mardi Gras. However, data provided by the NOPD indicate that this spike in car accidents actually begins as many as two weeks before Fat Tuesday.
While les bons temps are encouraged, it’s essential to make smart choices and stay safe while attending carnival festivities. Crowds, traffic, and commotion can be risky and even dangerous without proper preparation.
Here are some tips for a safe and enjoyable Mardi Gras:
Mardi Gras celebrations can last for hours, and it's easy to become dehydrated — especially where movement and alcohol are involved. Bring along a refillable water bottle and make sure to drink plenty of water.
Be aware of surroundings
Mardi Gras is known for its massive and rambunctious crowds. Consequently, it’s imperative to protect oneself, pay attention, and be aware of any potential risks at all times.
Keep an eye on personal belongings
Pickpocketing and other thefts commonly occur during crowded events like Mardi Gras. Ensure that all personal belongings are kept in a safe place and never leave valuables unattended.
Use a designated driver
Alcohol is involved in over 30% of fatal car wrecks. If planning on celebrating Mardi Gras with alcohol, establish group communication beforehand, keep in contact during the festivities, and be sure to designate a sober driver. Never drink and drive.
If choosing a sober driver is not possible, always make the responsible choice of arranging an Uber, Lyft, or taxi for transportation. Trust us – you’d much rather deal with surge prices than surgery prices.
What to do if injured during Mardi Gras
While we hope that everyone is able to enjoy a safe carnival, realistically, plenty of injuries will occur every year.
Please seek immediate medical attention if you, a family member, or a friend are injured during Mardi Gras celebrations.
If an incident leaves you or a loved one seriously injured, remember:
- Official parades have EMS stations along the routes. Before the parade begins, make an effort to locate the station nearest to your group.
- Locate a police officer if needed. Police can also be found along parade routes.
- Photograph the injuries.
- Acquire contact information for anyone else involved, including potential witnesses.
- Document everything—especially medical bills, the time and location where the incident occurred, and all contact with involved parties.
We’re Here to Help
If you were injured by a drunk driver during Mardi Gras season, you may be entitled to punitive damages and medical compensation. We’re here to help.
The dedicated injury attorneys at Anderson Traylor Edwards have over 50 years of combined experience representing people in Louisiana. If you are in need of empathetic and experienced counsel for your case, look no further. We’re dedicated to fighting for you, no matter how long it takes. Contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.