Safety Holiday safety Driving

NSC offers 7 driving safety tips ahead of Labor Day weekend

Photo: S. Greg Panosian/iStockphoto

Itasca, IL — Estimating that 450 people could be killed in preventable motor vehicle-related crashes during the upcoming Labor Day weekend, the National Safety Council is urging all drivers to share the road responsibly.

“With schools and workplaces closed for the holiday weekend, many families drive, bike, skate, scoot or walk over Labor Day,” said Mark Chung, executive vice president of roadway practice at NSC. “Extra precaution must be taken so everyone who leaves home has the best chances of returning safely.”

Safety tips for drivers from NSC:

  1. Prepare before you go: Before hitting the road, make sure your car is safe to drive. Check the oil, put air in the tires and visit to see if your vehicle has an open recall. (Repairs are free.)
  2. Buckle up: Lack of seat belt use is a top cause of traffic deaths. Make sure you have appropriate car seats installed correctly, too.
  3. Designate a sober driver or arrange alternate transportation: Alcohol isn’t the only cause of impaired driving. Drugs – including opioids, marijuana and some over-the-counter medicines – can cause drowsiness, alter visual functions, and affect judgment and motor skills.
  4. Slow down: Speeding is a factor in more than a quarter of all traffic deaths. Pay attention to posted speed limits and keep a close eye out for bicyclists and pedestrians to keep all road users safe.
  5. Drive distraction-free: Thousands of people have died in vehicle crashes involving cellphone use. Put your phone away and #JustDrive.
  6. Look before you lock: Being left in a hot car is the leading cause of non-crash-related deaths for kids. So far this year, at least 21 of these deaths have been reported. Always check your back seat for children or pets when you reach your destination.
  7. Demand safer roads: Join the Road to Zero Coalition to learn about the Safe System approach on road safety. Elements include rumble strips, bicycle lanes, clearly marked crosswalks, roundabouts and more.