You may have heard that the three months stretching from Memorial Day to Labor Day are the deadliest times of the year for car accidents. Road fatalities jump significantly during June, July, and August, with peak numbers of accidents occurring during holiday weekends.
As we approach another Labor Day weekend, many people will breathe a sigh of relief to know that accidents are soon to be on the decline now that summer is drawing to a close. However, those who celebrate too soon may be at added risk of suffering a crash on Labor Day—the fourth-most dangerous driving holiday in the U.S.
Hundreds of people are killed in car accidents each Labor Day weekend due to:
- Increased travel. AAA estimates that over 34 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles over the Labor Day weekend this year. Lower gas prices and increased vacation hours often signify a bump in holiday travel, making the roads more congested from Friday evening through Monday night. Unfortunately, more people on the road means more chances for an accident, causing thousands of drivers to suffer serious injuries every year.
- Drunk driving. According to the National Safety Council, drunk driving accounts for 40 percent of the car accident deaths in June, July, and August each year. Over this three-month period, roughly 2,846 deaths will be caused by alcohol-related crashes, a nearly 80 percent increase over other times of the year.
- Night driving. Many people use the last day of the weekend as travel time to get back home, while others will try to squeeze every last minute out of their vacation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car accidents are three times more likely to be fatal if they occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. than at other times of the day, putting night owls and last-minute packers at risk.
The Number One Injury Prevention Measure? Buckle Up!
Of course, an increased risk of a car crash is no reason to cancel your Labor Day weekend plans. If you are a careful driver who avoids alcohol and long nights behind the wheel, you can bring your accident risk back down to normal and you can further protect yourself and your family on a road trip by always wearing your seat belts! If you cannot control another driver’s actions, you can still protect your loved ones by making them wear safety belts for the entire length of your journey.
Want to reduce the chances of an accident even further? Share this article with your friends on Facebook or Google+ to keep them safe during their holiday celebrations!