The Labor Day holiday means the chance for a last summer road trip for many families across the United States. With that in mind, the National Safety Council (NSC) is urging drivers to be extra cautious this holiday weekend. The NSC predicts 2017 will be the deadliest Labor Day holiday on record since 2008, estimating that 421 people may be killed. This is an 11 percent increase from the average number of deaths—378—for that weekend.

Lessening the Blow

According to the NSC State of Safety report, preventable deaths have reached an all-time high. The risk of being involved in a potentially fatal accident can be reduced with simple driver precautions.

family road trip, family at their carThe NSC recommends these tips for safer Labor Day travel:

  • Buckle up on every trip, in every seat.
  • Make sure children are properly restrained.
  • Designate an alcohol and drug-free driver or alternate transportation.
  • Avoid fatigue by getting plenty of sleep and taking regular breaks.
  • Never use a cell phone behind the wheel.
  • Learn about your vehicle’s safety systems and how to use them.
  • Check your vehicle for recalls.

No Excuses for Driving Drunk

Perhaps the most preventable risk of all is drunk driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants to remind people to drive sober this Labor Day holiday. In the U.S., it’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher, and, depending on your body weight, you may reach that limit with just one drink. In 2015 alone, drunk-driving crashes killed someone every 51 minutes.

According to the NHTSA, there’s no excuse for driving drunk when today’s technology puts the ability to get a sober ride in the palm of your hands. The agency has now made this even easier with their SaferRide app which is available for both Android and Apple devices. With the notion that too drunk to drive means too drunk for a complicated process, the app offers you straightforward choices, the ability to: find a local cab company, send your location to a friend, and to let you know where you are.

Because the Labor Day holiday is one of the most dangerous on U.S. roadways, state and local law enforcement agencies are making a special effort to let people know: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Remember, if you choose to get behind the wheel drunk, it’s not just your life you're putting at risk, but the lives of your passengers and the people sharing the road with you, too.

The Bottom Line

Make it a point to have a fun and safe Labor Day holiday this year. One last family trip before the summer ends should be something fun, not fatal. Knowing that, you should take all the necessary precautions for the safety of yourself, and your fellow travelers.

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