Like we’re back in school, 34.4 million Americans, including more than 4 million Californians will join me in jubilee this Friday night to travel more than 50 miles to a vacation getaway for the long Labor Day weekend. In California and across the country, this holiday weekend’s travel predictions mark a ten percent increase over 2009 numbers, which indicates that it will be marked by more traffic, and likely more accidents, than last year.
So before you start hiking, wake boarding, and BBQing, remember that Labor Day weekend is a notoriously dangerous time for traffic accidents and drunk driving related fatalities. And as if you needed more reasons not to drink and drive, the Governors Highway Safety Association has launched a nationwide campaign to crack down on drunk drivers this weekend. In California, this means the addition of more than 200 DUI checkpoints with the cooperation of 450 government agencies.
Fortunately, the number of people killed and injured in alcohol related accidents over Labor Day weekend has subsided in recent years here in California. In 2008, for example, there were 381 drunk driving injuries, 13.6 percent lower than 2007’s total of 441 according to the California Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System. Overall, the state’s Labor Day car accident deaths in 2008 (47) was 14.5 percent lower than 2007 (55). Regardless, there’s much more room for improvement.
“The most recent data available shows encouraging news about the safety of California’s roadways during Labor Day weekend with decreases in accidents and vehicular fatalities,” said GJEL managing partner Andy Gillin in a statement this week. “Regardless of the statistics, however, no driver can be complacent during road trips. I encourage everyone to stay safe, be aware, and avoid distractions this weekend.”
Have a great time this Labor Day weekend. And remember not to drive if you’ve been drinking under any circumstances. And due to the increased number of drivers on the road this weekend, take along some of GJEL’s accident resources, including our Accident Checklist, in case you have the misfortune of experiencing a car accident.
Photo credit: Burning Image