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Some 400 Deaths Expected on America's Roadways this Labor Day
Since the late 1800s our nation has celebrated the American labor movement and the social and economic achievements of its workers. For many here in Florida, the three-day celebration involves backyard cookouts; one last blast at the beach, on the lake or in the pool; and all too often, a few too many celebratory cocktails. Unfortunately, that means upward of 400 deaths on our country's roadways, Florida's auto accident attorneys warn.
Last year, 394 people were killed and some 42,000 were seriously injured in accidents over the Labor Day weekend, according to statistics from the National Safety Council. The year-over-year consistent average makes the holiday the fourth most dangerous for travelers, behind Independence Day, Memorial Day and Thanksgiving and, surprisingly to many, ahead of New Year's Day and Christmas Day. The AAA estimates that roughly 34.1 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles over the weekend, making for congested roadways.
One contributing factor is that Labor Day is a multi-day holiday. The holiday period officially begins at 6 pm on Friday, when most workers clock out for the week, and runs through 11:59 pm on Monday. Knowing that they have multiple days before heading back to work makes many celebrants feel a bit more comfortable about partying and drinking, believing they've got plenty of time to sober up and rest for the four-day work week ahead.
To help keep you and your family safe on the roadways over the Labor Day weekend, auto accident attorneys urge these precautions:
- Declare your automobile a distraction-free zone by turning off smart phones, in-car infotainment systems and other unnecessary electronics. Insist that passengers - especially excited children - sit still, stay calm and keep the chatter to a reasonable volume.
- Double check to make sure that all passengers wear their seatbelts and that children are in safety seats appropriate for their size and age.
- Allow extra travel time to get to your destination. Remember that traffic will be heavier in many places and frustration can chip away at drivers' impulse control.
- Avoid drinking alcohol. If you do enjoy a beverage, make sure to connect with a designated non-drinking driver or hail a cab to take you and your family safely home.
From all of us here at Todd E. Copeland & Associates, have a safe and fun Labor Day weekend.