Here’s how to make Labor Day weekend trips safe: No distracted driving; no drowsy, drunk or impaired driving; no speeding; always wear seat belts & helmets
Labor Day weekend trips are the last hurrah for most families before they get back to the books and the start of school.
It’s a time for making memories, resting and relaxing for at least one more day before the chaos of the school year starts. A big part of making that happen is ensuring that people drive safely to and from their destinations – not always easy given how clogged Michigan’s highways are at this time of year with road construction and work crews.
Safety, of course, is not something you or your family should take lightly when making Labor Day weekend trips.
The Michigan State Police say that over the past 45 years (between 1972 and 2017) the Labor Day holiday weekend sees an annual average of 19 car accident road fatalities – which, significantly, is more than any other holiday weekend in this state.
To help drivers and families stay safe out on the roads, I’ve compiled the following list of Labor Day safe driving tips:
- No distracted driving: Texting drivers are 23 times more likely to crash and drivers dialing a hand-held phone are 12 times as likely to be involved in a car accident.
- No drowsy driving: A drowsy driver who has had less than five hours of sleep is nearly five times more likely to be involved in an auto accident; plus drowsy driving is 8-10 times more prevalent as a cause of car accidents.
- No drunk driving: Drunk drivers are 380 times more likely to crash (i.e., a driver with a blood alcohol concentration or BAC of 0.15 and higher are 380 times more likely to crash than a sober driver).
- No drug impaired driving: Pot and illegal drugs double a driver’s risk of crashing.
- Wear seat belts, always: Always buckle up and make sure children are properly secured into a car seat or booster seat or safely seat belted, plus adults should always wear seat belts in both the front and back seats. That’s because people riding in the back seat of a car who are not wearing seat belts are 8 times as likely to be seriously injured in a car accident as are seat-belted, rear seat occupants.
- No speeding: Excessive speed was indicated as the hazardous action for 10.5 percent of the drivers involved in fatal crashes, according to 2017 Michigan Traffic Crash Facts.
- Wear your helmet: If you’re riding your motorcycle, make sure you’re wearing your helmet because an unhelmeted rider is 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal head injury compared to a rider with a helmet and because helmets are 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries.
On behalf of all Michigan Auto Law attorneys and legal professionals, we wish you a safe and wonderful Labor Day weekend.
Traffic fatalities during Labor Day weekend trips
Below are statistics from the Michigan State Police for the traffic fatalities that have occurred over the Labor Day holiday since 2014:
- 2014 – 6 fatalities (5 of the deaths resulted from alcohol-related crashes)
- 2015 – 15 fatalities (10 of the deaths resulted from alcohol-related crashes)
- 2016 – 10 fatalities (2 of the deaths were alcohol-related)
- 2017 – 15 fatalities (4 of the deaths were alcohol-related)
(Sources: “2017 Michigan Holiday Traffic Fatalities,” Michigan State Traffic Crash Reporting Unit; “5 year trends-fatal crashes and persons killed for select holiday periods in Michigan,” 2016 Michigan Traffic Crash Facts)
Don’t wait to call a lawyer after car crashes during Labor Day weekend trips
Even though I normally tell people not to rush to talk to or hire an attorney, the potential harm in losing critical evidence from a Labor Day holiday-related car crash means it’s better not to delay in getting legal advice – especially if you’ve been seriously injured and the at-fault driver’s insurance alone may be inadequate to compensate you.