The National Safety Council has released traffic fatality information for the upcoming Labor Day weekend, estimating that 400 traffic fatalities will occur over the holiday weekend, and another 38,800 medically consulted injuries will be sustained from motor vehicle collisions.
The Council also estimates 142 people may survive the holiday weekend because they will have worn safety belts, while another 102 lives could have been saved if all had worn safety belts.
With the upcoming Labor Day weekend upon us, and millions of drivers taking to the road, BBB provides the following tips to make it as safe for you as possible:
• Make sure you’re well rested before traveling. Tired drivers are not only a hazard to themselves and those in their vehicle, but by falling asleep or being less alert, mistakes can be made in judgment when driving.
• Make sure everyone is properly buckled up. This applies to every person in the car, including back seat and rear seats in mini vans. Seat belts prevent serious inquiries and deaths. Make sure children are in age appropriate safety seats, and that they are properly secured.
• Don’t tailgate and remember the two-second rule when following other vehicles. Remember to keep a safe distance between your car and the car in front of you. Also be aware of vehicles on all sides of your car. Don’t rely on mirrors when changing lanes. Make sure to turn around and check visually to make sure no cars are in your blind spot.
• Obey all traffic signals and speed limits. This is especially true on holiday weekends. Wherever you’re going you want to make sure you get there safe. Also, be aware that law enforcement will be out to ensure that everyone is obeying all speed limits and laws.
• Don’t drink and drive.
• Don’t text and drive. Distracted driving is becoming one of the major causes of accidents. When driving, pull over if you have to make a call, send a text or do anything that would take your full concentration off of your driving.
• Pay heed to emergency signals and traffic. When you see an emergency vehicle’s lights flashing, MOVE OVER and SLOW DOWN. If you want to help, it would be best to call 911 and report the accident.
• Establish and enforce a driver’s distraction-free zone. Especially in cars equipped with electronic devices including cell phones, video games and global positioning systems
• Allow plenty of travel time to avoid frustration and for those extra stops every traveler has to make.
• Drive defensively and exercise caution, especially during inclement weather.
• Keep BBB with you on the road. BBB has a free app for iPhones on iTunes. Look for bbbsearch to receive this free service. For those who do not want to download this app, just go to bbb.org.
Before You Go:
• Create a car safety kit. Holiday driving often includes the threat of dangerous weather. Bad weather can lead to accidents, car troubles, long delays and road closures. You can prepare for bad weather by creating your own safety kit. Basics for the kit include a blanket, flashlight with extra batteries, radio, first aid kit, jumper cables, non-perishable foods like granola bars and nuts, bottled water, family medicine and emergency telephone numbers.
• Take the car in for a checkup. Breaking down on the side of the road can definitely put a damper on the holiday spirit. If your car is due for a checkup, take it in before making that long haul. At the very least, check the car’s fluid levels, wipers and tire pressure. Check the condition of your tires and make sure they are properly inflated.
• Know the Weather. Check local websites for traveling information for states you will be traveling through and your destination. You may need extra time for bad weather.
For Help On The Road
Since its inception in 1998, “Tow to Go” has safely removed more than 13,600 drunk drivers from the roads. The program is FREE and 100% confidential. Consumers simply call 1-800-AAA-HELP during the upcoming Labor Day weekend.
The call will be directed to an Emergency Road Service Call Center. The AAA tow truck takes the vehicle AND the driver safely home. The Tow to Go Program is available throughout Florida, Georgia, Southeastern, Middle and Western Tennessee.
Tow to Go is a program designed to protect both the intoxicated driver and the motoring public from avoidable car crashes. This program is a Partnership between AAA Auto Club South & Budweiser.