Fuel costs may be unpredictble, but on average about 34 million people choose roads as their primary mode of travel for the Labor Day Weekend holiday. More cars on the roads mean higher possibilities for an accident. Contributing to the high traffic are the Labor Day parties and barbecues where some drivers may over indulge on alcoholic beverages and drive drunk.
Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when you hit the roads with your loved ones this weekend:
- Speed is the number one cause of accidents. Long weekend vacations could be stressful, especially with more traffic on the road than normal. But be very careful of your speed -- take your time and enjoy the trip. When traveling at a safe speed you have a better ability to respond to obstructions or negligent driver.
- Get your car checked up before a longer trip. Many times car crashes are not due to anything that the driver did wrong, but rather a malfunction in the car, such as worn brakes or blown tires. General Motors recalls make headlines for multiple faulty systems. If you are going to be putting more miles on your car or truck than usual this weekend, bring your car in for a check up and oil change to make sure you get your trip off on the right foot. If recalls affect your car, make sure an authorized dealer corrects issues.
- Buckle up. Very simply, making sure everyone's seat belt is tightly and correctly buckled is the easiest way to keep your family safer while traveling. Although it might be tempting to unbuckle your seat belt to take a nap in the back seat during a long car ride, it is dangerous and could be the difference between minor injuries during an accident and fatalities.
- Know where you are going. Review your directions well before you leave, and if there is more than one person in the car, have a map reader at your side. Accidents are more likely to occur if you are trying to read a map while driving, or if you try to make sudden turns at the last moment. Leave earlier in the day so that you do not feel stressed or rushed.
- Don't drive impaired, and be aware that others may be. During long holiday weekends, there are more drunk drivers on the road, more tired drivers on the road, and more distracted drivers on the road. First of all, don't be one of those drivers! Secondly, be aware that other drivers may not have been as responsible as you are. Drive defensively.