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Labor day is near, but if you’re planning a road trip for the long weekend, you may be stuck in heavier traffic than usual. This year, the NSC estimates that 455 people may die on roads during Labor Day weekend—which begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, September 1 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, September 4.
Research shows that Memorial Day through Labor Day is the deadliest time of the year regarding car collisions.
Shocking Car Crash Statistics
While Labor Day weekend may be the perfect time to relax, it is not the time to relax while driving. Just look at the deadly consequences of unsafe driving habits:
- Traffic fatalities on Labor Day accounted for more than 10% of the total traffic accidents recorded in September 2018.
- An average of 260 teens are killed in car crashes each month during the summer, a 26% increase when compared to other months of the year.
- Drunk driving takes the lives of about 10,000 people annually.
- In 2014, 846 lives were lost due to drowsy driving-related collisions.
- Labor Day weekend was the second most fatal holiday weekend for drivers between 2011 and 2015.
- In 2015, 391,000 people were injured as a result of distracted driving.
Why is There a Spike in Fatal Labor Day Weekend Car Crashes?
Most of us have daily routines that determine when, where, and with whom we will ride in a car. These routines can change drastically during holiday breaks.
Increased amount of travelers on the roads. Labor Day travelers increase the amount of traffic on roadways from Friday evening through Monday night. More people on the road eager to get to their destination means there is a greater chance of being involved in a car crash.
Impaired driving. Barbeques and alcoholic beverages are common during the Labor Day weekend. However, a problem arises when buzzed, tipsy, or drunk guests are ready to leave the gathering and get behind the wheel. There is always a spike in drunk driving collisions during holiday breaks.
The consequences of choosing to put your life and the lives of other people in danger are not cheap. If you choose to get behind the wheel while under the influence, you can lose your license and face up to $17,000 in fines.
Late night and early morning travel. Many families choose to begin their adventure Thursday or Friday night after leaving work. Others leave early the following morning to make the most out of the time they have off of work. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that car crashes are three times more fatal if they occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. than any other time of the day.
Distracted driving. A long weekend getaway means a car piled with friends and family. Although they make great company, they may also be a deadly distraction. Other ways distracted driving occurs on road trips include:
- The driver may be texting for directions.
- The driver may be irresponsible and get an itch to record video during the road trip to post on social media.
- Music playlists tend to be a topic no one can agree on. Changing the music constantly is also a dangerous distraction for the driver.
Inexperienced drivers traveling long hours. Labor Day weekend is another excuse for high school and college students to party. In addition, it provides an opportunity for young people to plan a long weekend getaway with their friends. Because of this, there is an increased amount of inexperienced drivers on the roadways. Unfortunately, their immature driving may be a threat to other motorists.
Tips to Ensure Your Safety this Labor Day Weekend
Motorists should be prepared to drive defensively to avoid the Labor Day weekend car crashes. Despite numerous safety campaigns, car crashes during the holiday continue to be a problem for everyone sharing the road. If you are traveling this Labor Day weekend, please make it a goal to follow these safety tips:
- Have a plan. Enter your destination in your GPS ahead of time and scope out the route so you do not run into any surprises.
- Wear a seatbelt at all times! The most effective way to save lives in a car collision is by wearing a seatbelt.
- Get plenty of sleep before hitting the road. After all, sleep is the only preventive measure against the many risks drowsy driving. Make it a goal to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night, especially if you will be driving the following day.
- Make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape. It is not a secret that your tires, brakes, fluids, belt, and battery can all put you in harm’s way if they malfunction on a busy highway or interstate.
- Put your cell phone down. Otherwise, reading a text may be the last thing you ever read. Ever.
- Do not allow your teen to travel alone with friends over the holiday weekend. Having a single passenger increases the teen driver’s risk of a fatal crash by 44 percent.
- Pack in case of an emergency. Make sure you don’t head for the open road without jumper cables, a spare tire, tools required to change a flat tire, a first-aid kit, a gallon of water, and a flashlight.
How a Car Crash Lawyer Can Help Victims
The reality is that even after taking these preventative measures, fatal Labor Day car collisions still happen on our roadways every year. It is unfortunate when individuals that work hard all year decide to take some time to enjoy the fruits of their labor and end up in a catastrophic situation because of another driver’s negligence. The good news is victims of car crash injuries may be able to file a claim and recover their losses including:
- Past and future medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Long-term care
- Lost earning capacity
It is important to understand that an experienced Car Crash Lawyer will be able to guide you through the complex legal system. You do not want to go up against the insurance company on your own. The insurance agents will know you do not have legal representation and will look at you as an easy target to undervalue your claim. A qualified Car crash Lawyer, on the other hand, will have your best interests in mind and fight for maximum compensation on your behalf all while ensuring you are on your way to a healthy recovery.
The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
If you or a loved one were involved in a Labor Day weekend car crash and sustained serious car crash injuries due to another’s negligence, we want to help. Here at The Carlson Law Firm, we have devoted decades to protecting the rights of personal injury victims and their families. We have a team of attorneys, on staff nurses, and private investigators ready to invest heavily in your case. You don’t have to go through this stressful time alone. We care, and we can help.