Labor Day weekend this year is full of promise in the South. It is the opening weekend of college football, and it is an extended holiday weekend to spend extra time with family and friends.
It is also a weekend to be mindful of personal safety. Labor Day weekend is unfortunately one of the deadliest weekends for travel. On average, 450 people will die in automobile accidents each Labor Day weekend. Roughly 34 million people will be on the road this Labor Day weekend. Given the mixture of holiday traffic, holiday partying, and opening weekend for football partying, it is helpful to keep a few things in mind:
- Be on alert for impaired or distracted drivers. Half of Labor Day weekend traffic deaths are alcohol related. If you must drive later in the day or evening, be on the lookout for drivers showing signs of impairment – swerving, failing to dim headlights, erratic behavior, and missing traffic control signals. With the increase in traffic, there are also more distracted drivers on the road and more cars for them to run into. Signs of distracted driving are similar to those of impaired driving.
- Don’t drink and drive. This one goes without saying, but it never hurts to be reminded. With increased traffic and more impaired drivers already on the road, it is even more dangerous to not have all your wits about you when you drive this weekend. Let someone else take the wheel even if you’ve only had a couple of drinks. Police will be out in full force looking for impaired drivers. This includes roadblocks to do license checks where they will certainly pull you out of the car if they smell alcohol.
- Be prepared to stop quickly. More traffic accidents on holiday weekends cause disruptions of the flow of traffic in places you normally drive freely and at a higher speed. Be prepared to stop quickly because of an accident, a police roadblock or police having someone pulled over, because of roadwork, or because of heavy congestion.
- Don’t be in a hurry. If you venture out this weekend, leave in plenty of time so you are not in a hurry. There will likely be delays wherever you are going, and hurried drivers can often make poor driving decisions. Leave a few minutes early, take your time, and relax as you are driving – it is a long weekend, after all.
- Stay close to home. Head to the store early, get home or to your destination early, and stay put. This will keep you off the road and will keep you doing what this weekend is meant to be for – spending time with family and friends, cooking out, and enjoying watching your favorite team start a new season.
It is a sad reality that the personal injury lawyers at Jinks, Crow & Dickson, PC handle numerous cases involving serious injury or wrongful death from traffic accidents that take place on holiday weekends. Heavy traffic and impaired drivers make these weekends especially dangerous to drive. Please use caution when venturing out this weekend. Observe these five tips, and have a safe, long, and blessed Labor Day weekend.