As the beginning of school approaches, so does Labor Day. This holiday provides a much-needed three-day weekend for many professionals and allows families and friends to gather for one last summer celebration.
Although Labor Day is an enjoyable occasion for millions of Americans, the weekend also presents heightened risks to drivers. According to AAA, about 29.2 million people expect to drive over the holiday weekend; a 4.3% increase over last year’s 28 million.
Increased traffic, aggressive driving, and DUI driving all contribute to higher collision rates. The National Safety Council reports about 400 deaths related to car crashes each Labor Day. However, drivers can take measures to ensure their safety and that of others.
Whether traveling locally, to work, or across several states, follow these safety tips to avoid becoming a Labor Day statistic:
1. Get adequate rest. The night before driving long distances, make sure each individual who will be driving gets at least 8 hours of sleep.
2. Take frequent pit stops. Although it may be tempting to drive nonstop for several hours to reach your destination more quickly, resist the urge. Every few hours, pull over to allow everyone in the car to stretch their legs, eat a snack, and find a restroom.
3. Care for your car. Conduct routine maintenance, such as oil changes and tire rotations, before embarking on a road trip. Ask your mechanic for an inspection to ensure other issues don’t result in costly and inconvenient breakdowns.
4. Pack an emergency kit. If your car doesn’t yet contain jumper cables, a jack, a spare tire, flares, a first aid kit, food rations, and other emergency essentials, use Labor Day travel as an opportunity to supply it with these items.
5. Practice defensive driving. Especially when driving in unfamiliar areas, remain aware of the behaviors of other drivers. Keep safe speeds and maintain safe following distances, avoid weaving or swerving vehicles, and have a passenger call the authorities if you witness unsafe conditions.
If a Labor Day car accident has caused injury to you or a loved one, reach out to a D.C. personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.
Do NOT leave your child in a hot car. Find out more about this disturbing practice by reading: Recent Child Car Deaths Highlight Need for Heightened Awareness