Labor Day Weekend is upon us. It is a patriotic holiday dedicated to honoring those hard workers who have contributed to our country’s prosperity.
For many of us, it is a much-needed day off work. For others it is a time to celebrate with family and friends, to close out another summer and usher in a new autumn season. For many Orange County students, it marks the end of another summer vacation and the beginning of a new school year.
And, it can be a deadly time of year.
This year, the National Safety Council estimates there will be 400 DEATHS due to car crashes on Labor Day Weekend.
We’re not talking 400 little accidents. We’re talking about fatalities. Four hundred of them.
You don’t have to be driving far from home in order to be cautious. In fact, most car accidents occur close to home. So let’s be careful as we enjoy our Labor Day Weekend!
Here are our Labor Day safe driving tips:
1. Buckle up.
Obviously buckling up doesn’t help prevent an accident from occurring – but you better believe it can save your life if you do get into an accident. Even if you’re just driving down the road or through the neighborhood, you can still get into a car accident. Don’t play it cool – play it safe. Buckle up.
2. Don’t drink and drive.
You’ve heard it a million times, yet people continue to drink and drive, putting themselves and other people – other innocent people – at risk.
If you’re going to a Labor Day party or BBQ and you plan to drink alcohol, plan ahead so you don’t get into a situation where you might be tempted to drive. If you do have to drive home later, stop drinking early enough in the day to allow yourself plenty of time to sober up. Otherwise, get a DD (designated driver), call a cab or have a trusted friend or family member pick you up.
You plan ahead before going to the beach, don’t you? You get properly dressed, making sure you have your hat, towel, sunglasses, flip flops, sunscreen, book, chair, and surfboard. Perhaps an extra change of clothes or supplies needed for a bonfire. Oh, and don’t forget to pack the cooler! If it’s worth it, you’ll put in the time to plan it.
If you’re driving and you see another driving who might be intoxicated, don’t wait – call 911 and report it immediately. It is worth the risk of being wrong – because if you’re right, it could save someone’s life.
3. Stay alert.
No distracted driving! You might be driving through a neighborhood where people are walking, barbecuing outdoors, children are playing ball, and pets are lounging in the yard. Stay alert and aware of bicyclists and pedestrians, especially those that might dart out behind parked cars.
The same goes for driving on the roads – by being alert and undistracted, you could avoid an accident by someone who is driving tired or even intoxicated.
4. Be patient.
Allow plenty of time to get where you’re going, knowing there might be traffic. Use Google maps or another navigation tool to check traffic before you leave for your destination, and take less crowded roads if possible.
Remember that everyone wants to get where they’re going. Stay calm, be patient and set a good example. The road is no place for anxiety-ridden, impatient, angry, impulsive people. The more cautious, careful, responsible, patient drivers on the road, the better for us all!
It’s been a great summer – please be safe this Labor Day Weekend! And have a wonderful start to the school year!