Safe Driving Tips for Labor Day Weekend

cars stuck in traffic

The National Safety Council’s Statistic Department has estimated that 400 people will die in traffic accidents during Labor Day weekend this year. They arrived at this statistic after comparing fatality rates from previous Labor Day Weekends. The duration of Labor Day weekend is officially 6 p.m. Friday, September 2 to 11:50 p.m. Monday, September 5. Below are five tips to keep our non-commercial and commercial drivers safe this holiday weekend.

Driving Tips to Survive Labor Day Weekend

1. Do Not Drink and Drive – If you plan to drink, choose a non-drinking driver in advance or plan for safe alternative transportation. Walking or biking along the roadway is not a recommended alternative to driving, especially Labor Day weekend, due to the possibility of being hit by other impaired drivers on the road. In addition to the danger of driving drunk, police enforcement will be greatly increased for this holiday weekend. Do not let a fun weekend be ruined by an accident or a DUI.

2. Wear a Seatbelt – The National Safety Council estimates that although many fatalities are avoided every Labor Day by people wearing seatbelts, another 102 lives could be saved each year if all drivers would wear safety belts. The Council also states that the best defense against a drunk driver is to buckle up.

3. Plan Your Route Ahead of Time – If you are hitting the road for Labor Day travel, it is important to have already planned your route on a map or with a GPS device.

This will prevent the distraction of trying to figure out directions while driving. It will also allow you to make careful, prepared lane changes and exits as you navigate your course. This is especially important if you share the road with large commercial trucks that cannot react quickly to hurried or last-minute lane changes.

4.  Leave Early and Allow Appropriate Travel Time – Anticipate extra traffic and slower-than-normal travel so that you are not speeding to get somewhere. Colonel Hitchens, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety and Georgia State Patrol Commander, says to leave yourself ample time to reach your destination. Additionally, plan your time or coordinate with your passengers so that no one is driving while fatigued. As excited as you may be to start the holiday weekend immediately, make sure you are well rested before getting on the road. If you are fatigued and do not have a safe place to stop and rest, use these tips to stay awake. Then pull over and sleep as soon as you can safely do so.

5. Establish and Enforce a Distraction Free Driving ZoneDistracted driving is one of the most serious dangers on the road, injuring or killing hundreds of thousands of people every year. With increased traffic during Labor Day, it’s especially important for a driver to maintain focus and attention on the road. Do not text, fiddle with GPS systems or change music while driving. If you have a passenger, rely on him/her to take care of this. If you are driving alone, place your phone out of reach where you won’t be temped to text or talk on it; set your iPod or other music device to music that will last you a while and only change it when stopped; and have your GPS route planned and set before leaving.

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