August 29, 2023

Safe Driving Tips for Labor Day

Did you know that Labor Day celebrates the women and men campaigning for workers’ rights in the 19th-century labor movement?

We appreciate their hard-fought wins, which remain in effect, including the 40-hour work week, safe work conditions, paid time off and sick leave.

This year, Labor Day falls on Monday, September 4th. Hard-working Americans and families anticipate the four-day holiday as they gather for barbecues, pool parties and fun at summer’s end. With so many families hitting the road, it’s important to be alert as you drive—especially when you consider Labor Day the second deadliest holiday to drive, coming in second only to Memorial Day. Statistics show that 445 fatal crashes occur during the four-day weekend—20% more fatal crashes than the average holiday. So we’ve come up with some safe driving tips to help you have a safer holiday.

Safe Driving Tips

Whether for trucking safety or vehicle safety, USA Today recommends leaving early. “Take on the highways early Saturday morning or before rush hour on Friday. If you’re driving on Labor Day, follow the same rules. Most people will brave their return home in the early evening or late afternoon.”

USA Today also recommends that you plan your route well. “Look for alternate routes, program your GPS or use a map to get you where you need to go as fast and efficiently as possible.”

The American Trucking Association (ATA) states that high traffic volumes lead to greater opportunities for accidents, so you should plan your trip to avoid traffic bottlenecks and increased traffic volumes.

  • Be alert to erratic driving as people may enjoy a drink or two at their gathering before getting behind the wheel – despite consistent warnings for motorists not to drink and drive.
  • Be aware of the vehicle in front of you. Be mindful of the space between your vehicle and the one ahead—leave extra room for extra safety.
  • You should signal early for turns and lane changes. This way, you can alert other drivers of your movements so they can better prepare. The fewer surprises, the fewer mishaps.
  • Be aware of truck blind spots. ATA offers this safety tip: “When sharing the road with large trucks, be aware of their blind spots. If you can’t see the professional truck driver in their mirrors, the professional truck driver can’t see you.”
  • Keep your eyes on the road: Only use your cell phone or text when stopped—never while driving. About 3,000 people die in accidents due to distracted driving every year. Distracted driving isn’t worth it, so pull over to take a call or text at a safe location, like a truck stop or rest area.
  • Don’t cut in front of large trucks or vehicles. Don’t take your chances by cutting in front of large trucks, even in a hurry. They’re heavier and take longer to make a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them or any vehicle.
  • Buckle up. The fact is that safety belts save lives. Consider these numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): If you’re the driver or a front-seat passenger in a passenger car, using a seat belt can reduce your fatal injury risk by 45%. It also cuts your odds of sustaining a moderate to critical injury by 50%. The numbers are even better for passengers in a small truck, as your chances of a fatal injury drop by 60% and a moderate to critical injury decreases by 65% when you use a seat belt.

For more trucking hacks, check out Driving Safe: Marking CVSA Safe Driver Week and Mastering Speed Management for Truckers.