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How can Motorists Prepare for Labor Day Weekend?

August 30, 2021

Labor day

Labor Day weekend is an enjoyable time for families across the country. This year, people are eager to celebrate and make the most out of the three-day holiday weekend. However, this means that additional road traffic increases the risk of serious car accidents.

The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 466 will die in Labor Day weekend traffic crashes this year, and thousands more might be seriously injured. The number of predicated fatalities is higher than last year because travel restrictions have been lifted and more people are vaccinated.

However, with safe driving habits, many Labor Day weekend motor vehicle accidents are largely preventable. Listed below are some ways you can prepare for a Labor Day road trip.

Be a Defensive Driver

Defensive driving means anticipating potential hazards and reacting in time to avoid a collision. To be a defensive driver, you should continually scan conditions 20 to 30 seconds ahead and mentally plan an escape route in case an emergency should occur. Defensive drivers never depend on other motorists to make good decisions. They prepare for the worst-case scenarios.

Defensive driving is especially beneficial during high-traffic times when motorists may be impaired, overtired, or distracted by their devices. These tactics have proven to be so effective, that many states, including Virginia, offer auto insurance discounts and safe driving points for individuals who complete approved defensive driving programs.

Buckle Up the Seat Belt

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belt use is quite high, coming in around 90 percent for 2020. Seat belts protect passengers from impact, and they keep passengers from being ejected should the vehicle tip or rollover. There is no good reason not to buckle up your seat belt this Labor Day weekend.

Get Enough Sleep

It is natural to want to cram in every last minute of the summer break. However, overtired drivers are essentially just as dangerous as drunk motorists. Drowsiness slows a driver’s reaction time, makes them less able to pay attention to what is happening on the road, and impacts their ability to make sound decisions.

Drowsiness can both affect the mind and body. Anytime a driver has trouble keeping their eyes open, yawns continuously, finds themselves daydreaming, and forgetting the last few miles traveled, it is time to pull over and get some much-needed rest before getting back behind the wheel.

Obey the Speed Limit

Speeding is a form of aggressive driving, and it may be more common during Labor Day weekend when motorists are in a hurry to get to the beach, the lake, or the barbecue. Vehicles that travel too fast for the road conditions are more likely to lose control.

Drivers who speed lose precious time and space they may need to stop or turn suddenly to avoid a wreck. Also, higher speeds correlate with a greater chance of serious injury. To avoid the urge to speed, leave early and enjoy the ride.

Pack an Emergency Kit

Nothing can put a damper on a fun and festive Labor Day road trip than a vehicle breakdown. On a busy holiday weekend, it may take longer for police or a tow truck to arrive. It is always a good idea to keep supplies in the vehicle in case of emergencies during Labor Day travels and all year long.

Some essential emergency kit supplies include:

  • Bottled water
  • Non-perishable foods
  • Blankets
  • Batteries
  • Flashlight
  • Radio
  • Reflective triangles
  • Solar-powered charger
  • Basic first-aid kit

Plan Ahead

Nothing is worse than being rerouted because of road construction or some other unexpected detour. When planning your route, check traffic apps and GPS systems for the latest updates on accidents, repairs, bad weather, and other road hazards. Knowing what to expect can save holiday drivers time and aggravation.

Prep the Vehicle

Regular maintenance is necessary to keep a vehicle running safely and efficiently. That means routine oil changes, tire rotations, and fluid refills. A bit of extra preparation is always good idea before any road trip.

Before heading out for Labor Day weekend, schedule a tune-up with a trusted mechanic to ensure all systems and equipment are safe and ready for the summer traffic. This may prevent dangerous breakdowns and crashes caused by tire blowouts, faulty brakes, and other mechanical problems.

Put the Phone Down

Like drowsy driving and drunk driving, distracted driving is another deadly habit that makes it impossible for a driver to give their full attention to the road ahead. A driver who looks down at their mobile phone for as little as two to three seconds can lose total control of their vehicle and cause a devastating accident.

The cellphone is not the only cause of distracted driving crashes. When a driver eats a meal behind the wheel, does their makeup, or turns to talk to a passenger in the back seat, they are no longer in control of their vehicle.  Every driver should commit to paying attention to the road this Labor Day weekend.

Stay Sober

Alcohol will likely to be a part of many Labor Day weekend celebrations. If that is the case, plan ahead and designate a sober person to drive home. In 2019, 38 percent of traffic fatalities over the Labor Day weekend involved alcohol-impaired drivers.

Even though every state has a legal limit for permissible blood alcohol content amounts, any amount of alcohol can potentially affect a person’s motor skills and ability to make good decisions. Someone who has been drinking should either call a rideshare service, stay put until they sober up, or ask a sober friend to drive them home.

Be Extra Cautious Around Trucks

While Labor Day weekend is a holiday for most, many truck drivers are still working. Due to the size and force of large trucks, these vehicle are more likely to cause catastrophic injuries and death. Truck drivers undergo extensive training to operate these enormous multi-ton vehicles.

Drivers in smaller vehicles also have a responsibility to share the road and give truckers the additional time and space they require to stop, switch lanes, or turn.  Never tailgate a tractor trailer or pull out suddenly in front of them. If a driver cannot see the truck driver in their side mirrors, that truck driver cannot see them. Drivers traveling near big trucks should always remain as visible as possible, taking extra care to stay out of their blind spots.

Labor Day weekend celebrations are enjoyable, and no one wants to ruin the holiday with a tragic collision. With a bit of caution, you can avoid a car accident.

Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers Help Clients Navigate Labor Day Accident Cases

Even if you follow all of the safety tips mentioned above, you can still be injured by a negligent driver. If you need help with a Labor Day collision, our Virginia Beach car accident lawyers can help. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we will advocate for you every step of the way and help you achieve justice. Call us at 757-352-2237 or contact us online for a free consultation and for more information. Located in Virginia Beach, we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shore, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, Virginia, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.

Areas We Serve

Our law firm proudly serves clients injured anywhere in Virginia or North Carolina on personal injury claims, including cases with traumatic brain injury, spinal and neck injury, wrongful death, and more serious injuries. As Virginia Beach personal injury attorneys with many years experience, our team of lawyers will be ready to fight for you. If you were injured on the job, our Virginia Beach Workers Compensation lawyers are ready to serve you.

Call 757-352-2237 or fill out the online contact form for a free consultation about your personal injury, workers compensation, or other attorney services. Our firm adopts a team approach to every case, so while one primary lawyer will be assigned to your case, you have the benefit of an experienced team of lawyers, all working on your side. We are located in Virginia Beach, VA, and serve clients who were injured anywhere in Virginia or North Carolina.

301 Bendix Road, Suite 460
Virginia Beach VA 23452
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