Labor Day is statistically one of the busiest travel holidays of the year, with an increase in road congestion and traffic fatalities. Florida has one of the worst records when it comes to fatal accidents on Labor Day weekend.
According to figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 373 fatal car accidents occurred during Labor Day weekend when reviewing the years 2008 to 2017. In 2017, a total of 354 deadly car accidents occurred, killing a total of 374 people nationwide on Labor Day weekend.
Planning ahead and being well prepared are essential to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip if you plan on hitting the road this Labor Day weekend. Here are some safe driving tips to remember.
Avoid driving at peak times.
One smart tip to keep in mind before hitting the road is to plan your driving time, accordingly. It can be tempting to want to head out immediately when work lets off on Friday. Many people will even try to cut their workdays short and leave in the late afternoon or early evening after work. However, this time of day is a notoriously dangerous time to travel- especially on I-4, where there is also road construction. Not only are the roads congested due to typical rush hour traffic, but many other drivers will have the same idea in mind, leading to more congestion on the roads. It is recommended that drivers leave as early as possible in the day, either taking the day off on Friday and leaving between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. or leaving early Saturday morning. When heading home, it is also advisable to leave early before noon on Monday. The longer you wait during the day, the more likely it is that you will hit holiday traffic.
Do not operate navigation apps while driving.
Most drivers these days rely on apps, such as Google Maps to get to their destinations, but by using these apps while behind the wheel, you are distracting yourself and putting both you and your passengers in serious danger. If you are relying on a navigation app to find your way, make sure one of your passengers is the person in charge of operating and using the device.
Avoid nighttime driving and DO NOT drink and drive.
According to the NHTSA statistics, 79 percent of the fatal accidents reported in 2017 occurred during nighttime hours. This statistic could be attributed to the fact that night driving tends to be more difficult than driving during daytime hours. Visibility is restricted, and the likelihood of coming across intoxicated and reckless drivers goes up during night hours. Many people are leaving cookouts or parties after consuming alcoholic beverages all day. If you need to get from one place to another during nighttime hours, consider using a ride-sharing service, public transportation, or a taxi.
If you absolutely cannot avoid driving during peak or nighttime hours, it is important that you are always aware of your surroundings. Drive defensively and anticipate the actions of drivers around you, especially during the evening hours when people are more likely to drive recklessly or drive under the influence of alcohol. If you come across a driver you believe is under the influence, the best course of action is to pull over and let the vehicle pass you to avoid a deadly accident. Drive at the posted speed limit and follow all traffic signals, as well, to keep yourself and your passengers safe.
Wearing your seatbelt properly can save your life in the event of a serious car accident. Whether you are driving or are a passenger, it is important to always wear your seatbelt while in a vehicle. Not only does it reduce your chance of dying in a serious car accident, but it also reduces the severity of your injuries.
Injuries don’t always happen when it’s convenient. Whether you are involved in an auto accident, slip and fall, or suffer any other type of personal injury, our team of attorneys is here for you 24/7 to take your call at (407) 843-7060. At Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, P.A. our personal injury attorneys have been defending the rights of injured people and their families since 1966.
We hope you enjoy the holiday weekend and stay safe on the roads! Happy Labor Day from all of us at Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, P.A.