Nearly 400 roadway fatalities may occur during Labor Day weekend, NSC estimates
Itasca, IL — The National Safety Council is urging Americans to drive defensively and designate a sober driver to help prevent an estimated 398 deaths and another 45,300 serious injuries on U.S. roadways during the upcoming Labor Day holiday period.
The Labor Day holiday begins at 6 p.m. on Aug. 30 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 2.
The estimate is the lowest NSC has issued for the three-day Labor Day holiday period since 2015, mirroring an overall national trend that shows fatalities are down 3% through the first six months of 2019 compared with the same time frame last year.
“Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, and many families will be traveling for those last-minute vacations,” Lorraine M. Martin, president and CEO of NSC, said in an Aug. 27 press release. “We want that last hurrah to be fun, not fatal. When you are on the roads, be alert, drive defensively and keep one another safe.”
Alcohol is often a major factor in fatal crashes during holiday weekends, including Labor Day. In 2017 – the most recent year for which data is available – 36% of fatal crashes involved an alcohol-impaired driver or motorcycle rider.
Tips for safer Labor Day travel include:
- Practice defensive driving. Buckle up, designate a sober driver or arrange alternative transportation, get plenty of sleep to avoid fatigue, and drive attentively.
- Recognize the dangers of drugged driving, including impairment from cannabis and opioids. Visit nsc.org/rxpainkillers to understand the impact of the nation’s opioid crisis.
- Stay engaged in teens’ driving habits. Visit DriveitHOME.org for resources.
- Learn about your vehicle’s safety systems and how to use them. MyCarDoesWhat.org can help you.
- Fix recalls immediately. Visit ChecktoProtect.org to ensure your vehicle does not have an open recall.