Labor Day weekend is traditionally seen as the annual “end”
of summer season, and people all across the country celebrate the occasion
with a variety of activities. Boosted by the fact that Labor Day is a
three-day weekend, people may choose to take a small vacation, celebrate
with friends, or simply just spend the day out somewhere.
What this means is that Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest road travel
weekends of the year and simultaneously one of the most dangerous weekends
to drive. Each year, dozens of people are killed as a result of fatal
collisions and thousands more suffer potentially serious injuries from
the dramatically increased number of hazards on the busy roads around
Labor Day Driving Statistics
Just how dangerous are the roads over Labor Day weekend? The numbers are
alarming and sobering in many ways. According to the U.S. Department of
Transportation, drivers are
three times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident over Labor Day weekend
than normal, and that number only appears to be rising. The National Safety
Council estimates that motor vehicle accidents are happening at their
highest rates since 2008, and they don’t appear to be slowing down
One of the major causes of this sharp increase in fatalities is the massive
rise in alcohol consumption on Labor Day weekend. As with most three-day
weekends, people choose to mark the occasion with a drink of their choice,
and far too many then proceed to get behind the wheel while intoxicated.
The US DOT estimates that 45 percent of all fatal accidents that have
occurred over Labor Day weekend since 1982 have been caused by drunk drivers.
In total, the National Safety Council is estimating that more than 400
fatalities and 49,000 injuries will occur across the country over Labor
Day weekend, with the majority of these instances occurring in major urban
centers and high-traffic regions such as Los Angeles.
Stay Safe—Follow These Tips
So what can you do to keep yourself and your family safe while traveling
the roads this holiday weekend? Our Los Angeles car accident lawyers have
a few tips you can follow to increase your own safety and avoid a potentially
Don’t Drive Drunk
Drunk driving is extraordinarily dangerous, dramatically increasing the
chances of an accident and serious injuries. Drunk drivers have been shown
time and time again to be significantly more likely to be unable to react
to changing road conditions as quickly as necessary, which makes them
a danger to themselves and everyone around them. Make sure you know your
limit and stay within it, as well as wait several hours after consuming
your last alcoholic beverage before you get behind the wheel to ensure
you’re truly fit to drive.
Drunk driving is also illegal, and law enforcement step up their presence
on the roads during Labor Day weekend to try and crack down on drunk drivers,
keeping them off the road for good. If you want to avoid penalties such
as jail time, large fines, license suspension, and much more, make sure
you plan ahead and either travel with someone who won’t be drinking
or arrange to get a ride home so you won’t have to get behind the
wheel while intoxicated.
Don’t Drive Tired
Fatigued driving is extremely similar to drunk driving in the effects
it can have on your ability. In fact, some studies suggest that fatigue
is just as much, if not
more inhibiting than alcohol intoxication. Falling asleep at the wheel also
causes an immense number of car accidents and injuries each year, so always
make sure you plan on either having a safe ride home if you know you’re
going to be out safe, or call someone to come get you.
Stay Alert of Other Drivers
There are some pretty easy-to-spot ways of determining if a driver around
you is drunk. If you notice that someone is weaving back and forth within
their lane, speeding up or slowing down erratically, or driving significantly
slower than the rest of traffic around them, odds are they’re probably
not in the right state of mind, usually because of intoxication. Give
these drivers a wide berth and pass them quickly to get away from them
as much as possible. Do your best to never get directly in front of these
drivers—you never know when they may not respond to changing road
conditions and rear-end you.
If you suffer an injury over this holiday weekend, talk to the team at
Biren Law Group by calling (310) 896-4345 and request a consultation to
discuss your legal options.