Labor Day Weekend is known as the unofficial closing of the summer season, as many families prepare for the school year and vacations come to an end. However, it is also known to be a time of year that sees an increase in car accidents. On overage, about 300 Americans die in car accidents over the holiday weekend.
When there is a high increase of travelers on the road, combined with aggressive drivers and people celebrating the holiday with alcohol, it is normal to wonder how you could avoid a car accident on Labor Day Weekend. Most people like to spend Labor Day Weekend relaxing before gearing up for the fall and winter. However, practicing extra caution and being more alert when driving will make the holiday weekend more enjoyable, and hopefully, accident-free. Here are a few safety tips to avoiding a car accident on Labor Day Weekend.
Stay Off the Road
If you do not have any plans for the holiday, perhaps celebrate the long weekend at home with family and friends because the best way to prevent a car accident is to not be on the road at all. It may be a good idea to go grocery shopping for the holiday days or a week before when less people will be out on the road.
If you do plan on taking a vacation, consider taking a flight to your destination instead of spending the travel time behind the wheel.
Do Not Drink and Drive
Drunk driving is never okay, no matter the time of year. More drunk drivers will likely be on the road during the holiday weekend. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, almost 45 percent of all fatal crashes during Labor Day Weekend involve a driver under the influence of alcohol.
If you plan on going out, make sure to have alternative transportation to get home, like a designated driver, or use a rideshare service. If you are hosting a party, stop serving alcohol a few hours before the party is over, and offer guests to stay over if they do drink. You can also designate them a ride as well.
Make Sure to Get Rest
Drowsy driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents. Many drivers forgo sleep in an effort to get more done, whether it is work or recreational, and do not rest the night before traveling. Fatigue symptoms are very similar to intoxication, as drivers lose the ability to react quickly, make good judgments, and could even fall asleep behind the wheel.
Distracted driving is another top cause of car accidents, and it has gotten steadily worse over the years. According to recent studies, you are four times more likely to get into an accident when using your phone while driving.
Distractions are not just limited to cellphone use. Eating, drinking, passengers in the car, and playing with the radio are all distractions that can take someone’s focus away from driving. Just a few seconds of taking your eyes off the road can lead to a crash.
Maintain the Vehicle
It is always a good idea to get your car serviced and maintained before the summer season, especially if you plan on taking a long trip. Make sure to get your oil changed and fluids topped off, get your brakes and tires checked, and remember to have your tire pressures set according to specifications. The last thing you would want is to have a broken-down car in an area you do not know during Labor Day Weekend.
Knowing where you are going is a helpful way to limit distractions. Not only do you want to plan your route ahead of time when traveling long distances, you want to plan when to leave as well. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), accidents that occur between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. are likely to be three times more fatal than during any other time of day.
Watch Out for Teen Drivers
There is a reason why the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is referred to as the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer. Younger and inexperienced drivers are out more during the summer and holiday weekends more than any other time of year. School is out, and teenagers are adventurous.
Practice safety precautions to help them understand that the road can be dangerous, and do not let them drive alone with their peers. Studies show that even having one passenger their age increases their risk of a fatal accident.
It is no secret that seat belts save lives. Never drive without your seat belt on and buckled, and be sure to wear it properly. That should go for everyone in your vehicle, and younger children should be in their age-appropriate car seats that fit them.
What Should I Do After a Labor Day Car Accident?
Sometimes, you can be as safe and cautious but still get into a car accident. Car accidents are often traumatic, so it is best to know what to do following a collision to minimize stress. You should do the following after a car accident:
- Do not leave: Never leave the scene of an accident, even if it seems minor or there are no injuries. Always stay until you can exchange information and talk to a police officer. It is illegal to leave the scene of an accident.
- Check for injuries: Check yourself and your passengers for any injuries. If it is safe to do so, check the other car’s occupants if necessary. If there are any injuries, immediately call 911 and wait for medical assistance.
- Call 911: Calling 911 will bring medical help if needed as well as the police to the scene. Some states, such as New Jersey, require you to call the police if someone is injured in a car accident or there is property damage over $500. Since you will not be able to determine the exact cost of property damage at the scene, it is best to call the police anyway. The police will create a police report detailing the accident, as well as interviews with the drivers.
- Move vehicles: If there are no injuries, and it is safe to do so, move the vehicles to the shoulder and away from traffic.
- Exchange information: Gather information from other drivers involved in the crash and exchange yours. Make sure to get their name, contact and insurance information, as well as their driver’s license number. If the driver is not the owner, be sure to get the owner’s information as well. If there are witnesses, get their names and contact information. Keep your conversations at a minimum, and do not admit fault as your words may be used against you in an insurance claim or court case.
- Obtain evidence: Following an accident, you want to take photographs of any injuries and property damage that took place. Take photos or videos of the scene, which could depict what the conditions were at the time of the accident.
- Notify your car insurance: You want to file an insurance claim as soon as possible following an accident, regardless of who is at fault. Failing to report your accident in a timely manner may result in your insurance coverage being denied.
- Talk to a lawyer: If you are injured in a car accident, you should speak with a lawyer first before agreeing to any settlement. Speaking to an attorney may help you be compensated for some losses, such as pain and suffering.
Cherry Hill Car Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Can Help You After a Labor Day Accident
If you become injured in a car accident on Labor Day Weekend, you should contact one of our dedicated Cherry Hill car accident lawyers at DiTomaso Law right away. Our skilled legal team has years of experience with car accident claims and can help you. Call us at 856-414-0010 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients in Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey, including Mt. Holly, Camden County, and Vineland.