Labor Day: A Dangerous Time To Be On The Road 


Labor Day is typically viewed as summer’s last hurrah.  To celebrate the holiday weekend this year, 42.9 million people are expected to take a road trip.  So maybe it is not surprising that Labor Day is the second deadliest holiday weekend in the United States.  Read on to find out what day and time-period of the holiday weekend is the most dangerous to drive and tips on how to stay safe.

Saturday of Labor Day weekend is the most deadly day of the holiday weekend – more so than Labor Day itself.  Afternoon (noon to 8 p.m.) and evening (8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.) are the most dangerous times to drive.  35.3% of accidents happen in the afternoon and 46.3% of accidents occur in the evening, with 45% of the fatal evening accidents being attributable to drunk driving.   Below are some steps you can take to avoid becoming a Labor Day car accident statistic:

  1. Do not drive drunk or under the influence of prescription or street drugs. To repeat, 45% of the fatal evening accidents on Labor Day weekend are attributable to drunk driving.  Of course, this number does not even contemplate serious injuries caused by drunk driving.  If injury and death are not enough to encourage you to find a safe ride home, then maybe jail time, expensive criminal defense attorneys, civil lawsuits and sky-high insurance rates will do the trick.
  2. Take into account the holiday traffic and leave yourself enough time to get to your destination. If you do not feel rushed, you will be less likely to speed and engage in dangerous driving manuevers like running red lights, etc.
  3. Morning is the least dangerous time to drive during Labor Day weekend so get on the road as early as possible.
  4. Wear your seatbelt and secure items in your vehicle including animals. Unbelted passengers, a cooler full of food and beverages, a dog, heavy bags, etc. can become incredibly dangerous projectiles in the event of an accident.
  5. Be sure your vehicle is in good working condition before leaving on your road trip. Do your tires have sufficient tread and are they properly inflated?  Do your brakes or windshield wipers need to be replaced?  Are all lights functioning properly?
  6. Do not drive distracted. If you do, your chances of being in a fatal accident increase by 18%.
  7. Mind the speed limit. Again, even if you think your driving skills are on the same level as Richard Petty or Mario Andretti, law enforcement is expected to ramp up enforcement efforts over the holiday weekend.   So if fear of an accident does not slow you down, perhaps an expensive ticket, points on your license and an insurance rate increase will help.
  8. Avoid road rage. Traffic, rude drivers, delays can all cause the blood pressure to rise and road rage to ensue.  The number of road rage incidences has increased over 500% since 2006.  If you find yourself getting worked up, take a break.  Get off the road, walk around for a bit, take some deep breaths, etc. before returning to the the drive.  If you are the victim of someone else’s road rage, do not engage.  Get away from them by either letting them go past or getting off the roadway.  Call police, if necessary.

If you do get involved in an accident, know what to do.  Here is a car accident checklist you should keep in your glove box.

We hope everyone enjoys a safe and fun holiday weekend.  If you need us, our award-winning lawyers are only a phone call away, even on Labor Day weekend.

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