Approximately 400 people will be killed and an additional 42,300 will be injured in car crashes over Labor Day holiday weekend. If you’re headed home from a weekend getaway, use caution when driving Monday.
- Perform a pre-trip inspection. The last thing you want to do on Labor Day is break down. Check your tire pressure, wipers and fluids before hitting the road. Carry a first-aid kit, a bottle of water and some energy bars in case something happens and you’re stranded for some time. If your car doesn’t yet contain jumper cables, a jack, a spare tire, and flares, use Labor Day travel as an opportunity to supply it with these items.
- Review your route. Program your GPS or use a map to plan your way home. Check online for road closures and detours. Search for alternatives or plan for additional driving time. Let at least one person know the route you’re taking, when you’re leaving and when you expect to arrive.
- Leave early. The hours between 4 PM and 10 PM on Labor Day are the worst possible times to get on the road. Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination safely. Observe speed limits and use caution when driving in bad weather.
- Buckle up. Safety belts save lives. Make sure all passengers are buckled up and children are in properly installed safety seats appropriate for their size.
- Pay attention. Distracted driving is a leading cause of crashes. Looking away for even two seconds doubles your chances of being in an accident. Turn off your cell phone while driving. Pull over if you need to call or text someone. Steer clear of eating while driving. If you get sleepy, stop at a rest stop. Step out of your car and walk around or stretch.
- Don’t drink and drive. The police will be out in full force looking for impaired drivers. Even if you’re only on the road to go to a party today, make arrangements for a designated driver or a taxi if you plan on drinking. Someone dies in a drunk driving crash every 51 minutes, on average. Over the Labor Day weekend, that statistic jumps to one every 34 minutes.