According to Louisiana State Master Trooper Brooks David, 22 people were killed in vehicle accidents in State Police jurisdiction between Friday, November 21st, and Thursday, November 27th (Thanksgiving Day). Despite a concerted effort by troopers to encourage seat belt use and target those not wearing the proper restraints, 18 of those people were not wearing seat belts. Again, this number does not include any fatalities or accidents covered by city or parish law enforcement agencies.

In delivering this information, Trooper David reiterated how much more devastating such news is to families during the holidays. He also mentioned that it is never easy for a trooper to deliver such news, but it is even more difficult for them to be the bearers of such news at this time of year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among Americans ages one to 54. Officials there call motor vehicle crashes a "major public health problem." Seat belts reduce the risk of serious injury and crash-related death by at least 50%. Air bags do provide some protection but are NOT a substitute for seat belt use.

It is law in the state of Louisiana that all passengers in the vehicle (both front and back seat) wear a seat belt.