How sad that a holiday that celebrates the acts of resting from toil and spending time with family so often ends in tragedies for so many Americans every year. According to the National Safety Council, an estimated 438 fatalities likely occurred on the nation’s highways during the three-day Labor Day Weekend. The Council bases its estimation on an upward trend in traffic deaths that started in late 2014. States with the most recent increases include Florida, Georgia, Indiana, California, North Carolina, Illinois and Kentucky.
The following driving safety precautions can prevent accidents and save lives:
- A few days prior to your trip, have a mechanic check your vehicle’s brakes, lights, windshield wipers, engine, tires and fluids.
- Don’t start on the road until every passenger has buckled his or her seatbelt.
- Avoid driving when you feel tired. Get enough sleep the night before your trip, and take frequent breaks.
- Abstain from using a cell phone, including the hands-free method. When you need to make a call, pull over onto the side of the road or into a highway rest area.
- Avoid driving while under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or prescription drugs. Designate an alcohol-free driver, or use a service like Lyft or Uber to get around safely. Never make any exceptions to this “don’t drive DUI” rule.
- Since teens lack experience, they are statistically much more likely to have accidents than other drivers. Therefore, be attentive to your teen’s habits behind the wheel.
- Take extra care when passing big trucks on the road. Truckers have large blind spots, and even when drivers act vigilantly, the physics associated with big rig operation prevents drivers from being able to brake quickly.
- Keep an emergency kit in your car that contains jumper cables, first aid supplies and water along with tools needed to change a flat tire.
- If possible, avoid driving during the most crowded times, such as rush hour on Friday night. Get an early start.
For more information about hazards associated with big summer holiday weekends, see Surprising Memorial Day Weekend Dangers (And How to Handle Them).
Our Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys can suggest a smart, tested strategy for how to seek compensation after an accident. Call or email us for a consultation.