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We can all save lives this Labor Day with these simple driving safety tips

August 27, 2014 by Steven M. Gursten

Almost 400 people will die this Labor Day weekend in car accidents – can you do your part to save a life?

It’s a shocking number – at least 394 people will die in car accidents this weekend across the U.S. And another 42,000 people will suffer injuries in automobile accidents,  according to car crash estimates from the National Safety Council.

Below is an evaluation of recent Labor Day holiday weekend death and injury estimates from the National Safety Council:

Labor Day car accident statistics National Safety Council

These numbers are  grim. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Some simple safety precautions when you’re behind the wheel can prevent a car accident and help keep you and your family safe this holiday weekend.

Wear a seat belt – and the life you save may be your own

For instance, the Council also estimates that 242 lives may be saved this weekend by just buckling up.

In Michigan, where I practice law, more than 1.2 million drivers will travel for the weekend – up 1% from last year. A spike in dangerous driving behaviors like drinking and driving and texting behind the wheel is a big reason for the uptick in car accident fatalities and injuries on local roads.

I should note that Michigan has fallen behind the rest of the nation in addressing the dangers presented to the public by cell phones and driving.  It’s an issue that needs more attention from law enforcement and our legislature. For more information, take a look at my blog post, “Should Michigan ban cell phone use while driving a car?”

Here are some Labor Day safety tips to help protect you and your family on the roads this weekend:

  • Buckle up: Make sure all passengers are buckled up and children are in safety seats appropriate for their age and size.
  • Avoid driving distracted: Establish and enforce a cell phone distraction-free zone, especially when you are behind the wheel.
  • Understand that cars equipped with electronic devices like GPS can also be distracting:  I’m not saying not to use it, but understand it is dangerous and be careful. Don’t program your GPS, for example, when you are driving.
  • Allow plenty of travel time: This will help avoid frustration and diminish the impulse to speed.
  • Drive defensively: Exercise caution, especially during inclement weather and in road construction and freeway construction zones.
  • No drinking and driving: Designate a non-drinking driver or plan for alternative transportation, such as a taxi or Uber when you go out with your friends this weekend.

Here are 6 more labor day driving safety tips from my Michigan Auto Law blog.

Safe travels, everyone.

 – Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Jason Eppink

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