Labor Day is the last major holiday of the summer and what many consider to be the unofficial end of the summertime season. While the holiday weekend can be enjoyable, it does not come without its dangers. The National Safety Council (NSC) predicted last year that 466 would die over Labor Day Weekend. On average, around 400 people die in fatal Labor Day car accidents.
For many, the holiday weekend often involves lots of driving and traveling. Many people with vacation homes and cabins use the weekend to close their seasonal residences, but not before enjoying it one last time before the upcoming fall and winter seasons.
Some basic precautions could help you avoid an accident during the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend. The following safety tips give you a closer look at how to avoid accidents on Labor Day.
Make a Plan
Many people will drive more than three hours to get to their Labor Day destination. Many also will use highways to do so, which creates the potential for traffic backups. You can avoid traffic backups and reduce the potential for an accident by making a plan that you can change to current road conditions if needed.
Most states and locales suspend road construction over major holiday weekends, but the construction zones are still there. Work crews may be gone, but traffic still might have to flow through a single lane in some places. Narrowed roadways in construction zones increase the chances of an accident happening. The potential for road construction is a good example of why you should plan ahead of time.
You can choose a preferred route to your holiday destination and check for construction zones. Many mapping programs will show where construction zones are located, and so do most state departments of transportation.
Your plan should include rest stops and alternate routes that you could take if driving conditions are less than ideal. You also should choose to drive during hours when the traffic is lighter, like earlier in the morning.
Stay Sober While Driving Over the Holiday Weekend
The potential for drinking and driving rises during the Labor Day holiday weekend. Many people host parties and cookouts that include consuming alcohol, and that makes it a lot more tempting to drink and drive. The additional temptation of legal marijuana in your state or neighboring states could add up to many motorists driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs over the holiday weekend as well.
You should do your best to avoid driving while under the influence. If you intend to imbibe, you should have a designated driver or plan on using a taxi or ridesharing service. You also could stay in place if you are at a party and avoid driving until the next morning.
Do Not Drive While Distracted
Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents in the United States. It also is a leading cause of death for teenagers and young adults. In fact, the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is known as the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer. Anything that causes you to take your eyes and attention away from the road is a distraction. When you look away from the road for just a couple of seconds, you are driving while distracted.
Talking on a cellphone and sending or reading text messages are the greatest causes of distracted driving. You should turn off your cellphone while you are driving. If you have a passenger, that person should be the one who uses a cellphone as needed while you are on the road. You also should keep the audio at a reasonable volume, and do your best to ensure any passengers do not engage in distracting behaviors.
If you are taking your pet with you, it is best to keep them in a cage or pet carrier while in the car. A loose pet might block your view, interfere with use of the gas or brake pedal, or otherwise create a distraction that might trigger an accident.
Wear Your Seatbelt
A seatbelt will not prevent an accident. However, wearing one greatly limits the potential for suffering injury or death during a car accident.
Follow the Speed Limit
When you follow the posted speed limit, you are taking proactive steps to avoid an accident and reduce the potential for injuries or death if another driver causes an accident. Speeding is a significant factor in many accidents, especially those that cause injury or death.
Additionally, your speed should be adjusted to the road conditions. If you encounter rain or driving conditions are bad, you should slow down even more to avoid an accident. You also should increase your following distance so that you can stop safely or react properly to avoid a dangerous situation that might cause an accident.
Get Enough Rest
Your holiday weekend plans should include time to get some rest. From the night before you leave until the moment you return to your home, you should do your best to stay rested and alert on Labor Day Weekend.
Many people will leave for their weekend vacation spot right after getting out of work on Friday. Those who did not get enough sleep the night before are starting their trip fatigued from work, which increases the risk of an accident.
You should ensure you will have plenty of time to sleep, and plan for some down time each day that you are away. Sleeping well and relaxing at least a little bit during the holiday weekend will help you stay alert on the road.
Monmouth County Car Accident Lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova Can Help You After a Labor Day Crash
If you become injured in a Labor Day accident, speak with one of our Monmouth County car accident lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova. We can hold the liable party accountable for the accident. You can contact us online or call us at 732-705-3363 to schedule a free consultation. We are located in Hazlet and Highland Park, New Jersey, and we assist clients throughout Ocean County, Sussex County, Neptune, Middlesex County, and Pennsylvania.