Known as the last “official” weekend of the summer, this year Labor Day weekend arrives at 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 29, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 1. The very first Labor Day was held in New York City on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, when the Central Labor Union held a demonstration, which was followed by a picnic. The U.S. Department of Labor credits machinist Matthew McGuire with coming up with the idea of a holiday.
AAA Travel is predicting there will be 35 million people traveling 50 miles or more from their home this Labor Day weekend, the highest it has been since the recession hit the economy in 2008. Over 29 million of those celebrating the holiday will be doing their traveling on the road.
Unfortunately, the increase in the number of vehicles on the road traveling for the weekend also means an increase in the amount of vehicle crashes. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), there will be 395 fatalities on the nation’s roads this Labor Day. Another 42,300 people will be injured in vehicle crashes.
The NSC also estimates 144 lives will be saved because of safety belts. Another 102 could have been saved if the person was using a safety belt.
In a statement, President and CEO of NSC Deborah Hersman said, “Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer activities – it should be a time of celebration. Unfortunately, this weekend will be a time of tragedy for hundreds of families that experience a preventable fatality on our roadways.”
The NSC issued the following recommendations to help keep travelers safe this Labor Day holiday:
- Have all passengers in the car wear their seatbelts. Make sure children are in the appropriate safety seat and that the seat is properly secured.
- Do not use a mobile phone at all – not even hands-free.
- Do not attempt to use electronic devices or vehicle infotainment systems, such as GPS, while you are driving the vehicle. Wait until you have stopped the vehicle in a safe area.
- Drive defensively. Use caution, especially during bad weather.
- Anticipate heavier than normal traffic because of all the other holiday travelers on the road and leave yourself enough travel time to arrive at your destination safely.
- Never drink and drive. Have a designated driver or make plans for alternative travel.
If you are injured in a vehicle crash caused by the negligence of another driver, contact an experienced New Braunfels personal injury attorney to find out what compensation you may be entitled to.