Summer holidays are the most traveled holidays and by extension the deadliest every year. The annual end-of-summer Labor Day holiday weekend comes in second only to Independence Day in the average number of total roadway fatalities and average daily death toll. The upcoming three-day Labor Day holiday starts on Friday, September 4, and concludes on Labor Day on Monday, September 6. That means lots of people will be on the roads and unfortunate car accidents will occur that might require the help of an experienced car accident lawyer.
More than 100 Daily Deaths on Labor Day Weekend
The death toll on the nation’s roadways during the Labor Day weekend averaged 115 per day in 2018, the National Safety Council (NSC) reports. Independence Day posted 122 daily deaths that year and Memorial Day 120 deaths, which was among the few years when Memorial Day holiday deaths surpassed Labor Day holiday deaths. Those daily deadly averages are the most of any of the national holidays.
The combination of long sunny days, children out of school, and their parents on paid vacations all helps to boost traffic on the summer holidays. Unfortunately, it all adds up to more deaths on the nation’s public roads. Despite having worse weather and New Year’s traditional drunken revelry, the average death tolls during the three wintertime holidays are much lower than the averages for the three summertime holidays.
The wintertime holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day average about 90 daily deaths on U.S. roadways. That is especially impressive when considering the night before Thanksgiving is the biggest bar night in most cities and towns across the United States. New Year’s also is a popular drinking holiday, and Christmas is another day for enjoying adult beverages.
The NSC says New Year’s recorded 93 daily deaths in 2018, which was the most of the three winter holidays. Thanksgiving recorded 91 average daily deaths, and Christmas posted 89 deaths over its three-day holiday.
Labor Day Holiday Deaths Prove Significant
A good measure of the actual impact of holiday travel is to compare the mortality rates with other comparable periods during the same month. That is especially easy, with Labor Day always being a weekend holiday that starts on a Friday and ends on a Monday.
Comparing the three days of traffic from mid-day Fridays through the following Monday in September shows the Labor Day Holiday posts an 11 percent higher daily death toll on U.S. roadways. September weather generally is stable with heavy rains or a potential hailstorm being about the only real weather factor that could impact traffic.
Winter holidays could throw nearly anything at travelers. That is partly why many wintertime holiday travelers choose commercial airlines instead of driving long distances from November until the annual spring thaw arrives. The potential for bad driving weather in many ways benefits holiday revelers who take greater precautions to prevent holiday deaths. A heavy dose of holiday public service announcements that promote safe holiday partying and safe driving habits also helps to lower the wintertime death tolls.
Tips on Boosting Labor Day Travel Safety
Drivers and their passengers can do much to help avoid becoming a very unfortunate statistic over the Labor Day holiday. The biggest factor is to prevent any chance of drinking and driving. Anyone behind the wheel should be sober and alert. The NSC affirms that drinking and driving is a significant factor in holiday deaths on the nation’s roads, which makes many deaths wholly avoidable by drivers staying sober.
Long holiday weekends also could lead to long days and nights of many activities. By the time Labor Day arrives on Monday, many drivers are tired and driving drowsy. Drowsy driving is as potentially deadly as drunk driving and just as avoidable.
The longer a holiday road trip, the more drivers should participate to prevent drowsy driving. When a driver feels tired, either switching to another driver or pulling over for rest is the best option to stay safe.
If the cellphone rings or an alert indicates a text message arrived, it is best to ignore it or let a passenger handle it. Distracted driving is the top killer of teen drivers and their passengers. Adults who engage in the same behavior are taking a big a chance. Even a couple of seconds with the eyes off of the road at 70 mph means the vehicle covers a long distance with no one really driving it.
Hands-free conversations enabled by onboard technology can help to reduce distracted driving and make it relatively safe for a driver to talk as they would with passengers in the car. But the text messages and mobile browsing need to wait until the vehicle is parked.
Many families also will travel with young children on Labor Day, and those young passengers need special care. Drivers need to ensure small children are securely protected in a child safety seat of the appropriate size. Air bags should be shut off and child safety locks in use to protect children as much as possible.
Motorists also can improve their chances of traveling in relative safety by learning and using the many great onboard driver assistance technologies. Adaptive cruse control with automated braking, blind spot monitoring, and lane-keeping assistance are among a few of the great new safety technologies that often come standard on modern vehicles. Learning to use them maximizes their impact on road-going safety.
Highland Park Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Victims Recover
Whether driving locally or on a long trip to the family vacation spot, an accident can put an end to a holiday celebration. Some common-sense driving tips can help to prevent accidents, but they still could happen. If so, reach out to the helpful and experienced Highland Park car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr. We will thoroughly evaluate your situation and to help you to build the best possible case. Call us today at 877-249-4600 or 732-249-4600 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients in New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, Colonia, Elizabeth, and Newark.