Nov. 25, 2022 - On the eve of the 49th Bayou Classic football game between Grambling State University and Southern University, the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission is urging fans to drive safely and to remember that “seat belts look good on you.”

New Orleans is again the site of the annual clash between the two Louisiana HBCUs, and more than 200,000 people from around the state and country drive in for festivities and the game between the GSU Tigers and SU Jaguars. LHSC Executive Director Lisa Freeman said it’s a great time to remind people to buckle up.

“Our Bayou Classic safety campaign theme this year is ‘Seat Belts Look Good on You,’” Freeman said. “Using your seat belt is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from someone else’s bad driving.”

Freeman noted that the most recent statewide seat belt survey shows that African-American motor vehicle occupants do not wear their seat belts as often as others in the state, and the gap is growing wider. While the statewide seat belt usage rate is 86.1 percent, the survey shows African-American drivers and passengers only buckle up at a 78.9 percent rate.

Numerous studies as well as national and state statistics consistently show that using a seat belt will drastically reduce an occupant’s chances of being seriously injured or killed in a car crash. Besides being an essential safety feature, seat belts should be considered “mandatory game day attire” for fans traveling to and from the Bayou Classic game, Freeman said.

“It goes with everything, it looks good on everyone, and it never clashes with your team colors,” Freeman said. “We’re encouraging everyone at the Bayou Classic to be a fashionista for safety and buckle up day and night, every seat, every trip, every time.”