10 Labor Day 2018 Driving Safety Tips

Posted in Car Accident on August 30, 2018

School is back in session and the unofficial end of summer is right around the corner. For many families, Labor Day weekend is an opportunity to send the season out on a high note, and that means road trips and vacations are common during this time of year.

At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville car accident lawyers hope that all families throughout Middle Tennessee stay safe during this upcoming holiday weekend. However, the National Safety Council says that around 400 deaths occur every Labor Day Weekend due to motor vehicle collisions. In addition, there are other hazards that people should be aware of while they’re enjoying their holidays.

A few safety tips that everyone should keep in mind over Labor Day Weekend include:

  • Get your vehicle ready for your trip if you’re traveling by road—There’s nothing worse than starting off a holiday weekend with a roadside emergency or being unprepared for the trip. Before you leave home, give your vehicle a quick inspection. Check your tires for proper PSI levels, signs of damage, or excessively worn tread. You should also inspect your battery, your windshield wipers, and all of your lights, including your headlights, brake lights, taillights, and turn signals. Finally, stock your vehicle with any essentials you’ll need for a road trip, such as bottled water, snacks, and a roadside emergency kit.
  • Be prepared for traffic and congestion—Millions of people are expected to hit the highways and interstates throughout the U.S. over Labor Day Weekend as they travel to destinations near and far. It’s important to be prepared to experience delays and heavy traffic volumes. When there are more vehicles on the road than normal, the risks of accidents can increase. That means it’s important to be even more cautious than usual and to pay close attention to your speed and following distance. Heavy traffic can result in abrupt slowdowns and stops—and that can mean rear-end collisions if you aren’t being attentive and cautious.
  • Don’t drive distracted—Holiday weekends can seem like the perfect time to let loose and have a good time. But remember that driving requires your full attention and concentration. Playing loud music, looking at your smartphone to read text messages or check your GPS, and having conversations with your passengers can all be distracting. Keep your eyes and mind on the road the entire time you’re behind the wheel. If you need to do anything that can be distracting, pull over to a safe location. A quick stop could save your life and the lives of others.
  • Don’t drive impaired—Labor Day Weekend is often associated with alcohol, especially when it’s celebrated on the lake or at cookouts. If you’re planning on drinking, appoint a sober designated driver before leaving home. Other safe methods for getting home include carpooling, using public transportation, calling a cab, or using a ridesharing service like Uber or Lyft. Don’t get behind the wheel if you’re over the legal limit, and don’t let your friends or family drive drunk, either. It’s also important to never operate boats, ATVs, golf carts, and other vehicles while under the influence.
  • Be careful driving to the airport—If you’re opting to travel by air, don’t take your safety for granted on your way to the airport. Nashville’s airport will certainly be busy over Labor Day Weekend with many drivers heading in and out from Friday through Monday. Be careful on the interstate and on your drive in. Remain cautious as you proceed to the terminal, and always look both ways when walking through the parking lots or while walking through crosswalks.
  • Contact law enforcement if you spot a drunk driver—If you encounter a drunk or impaired driver during Labor Day Weekend, it’s important to notify police or the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Drunk drivers are a significant threat to their own safety and the safety of others, and even the strictest and most saturated patrols and enforcement campaigns can’t catch all of them. In Tennessee you can report a drunk driver using your cell phone by dialing *THP or with any phone by dialing (615) 741-2060.
  • Don’t leave kids or pets in a hot car—even for a short time—If you’re traveling with children or pets over the holiday weekend, don’t forget that leaving them inside your vehicle can be fatal. That’s because temperatures inside vehicles can quickly reach life-threatening levels, even when windows are rolled down. And with temperatures expected to be in the 90s over the weekend, the temperatures inside your car can become fatal to small children and pets within a matter of minutes.
  • Call a tow truck or HELP truck if your vehicle breaks down or you get a flat tire—Even the most well-prepared travelers can run into snags during their trips or vacations. If you experience car trouble while traveling over the holiday weekend, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Never attempt to complete any repairs on your vehicle while you’re parked on the side of a highway or interstate. Attempting to change a tire or perform other repairs near traffic is extremely dangerous. Instead, call a tow truck to have your vehicle safely transported to a repair shop.
  • Move over for emergency vehicles—Law enforcement officers will be out in force over the holiday weekend making sure that all Tennessee drivers obey the state’s traffic laws. In addition, ambulances and fire trucks will also be frequently dispatched to accident scenes. If you encounter a stopped vehicle with flashing lights, whether it’s an emergency vehicle, a utility vehicle, or even an ordinary passenger vehicle, Tennessee law requires that you move over. You should also be prepared to move over or stop if an emergency vehicle is approaching you from behind or needs to turn in front of you.
  • Stay out of the left lane unless you’re passing another vehicle—Tennessee recently passed a law that makes it illegal to stay in the left lane of a multi-lane highway or interstate unless you’re in the process of passing another vehicle. The “Slow Poke Law” is designed to help improve the speed and efficiency of roads and to decrease congestion. You can do your part by staying in the middle or right lanes whenever possible. In addition to improving traffic flow, you’ll also avoid getting a citation.

Not All Drivers Are Committed to Safety, but We’re Here to Help.

Following the tips above can help you significantly reduce your risks over the Labor Day Weekend, but they can’t eliminate your chances of being involved in a crash. That’s because other drivers don’t always put safety as their top priority when they get behind the wheels of their vehicles.

When other drivers are negligent or careless, they can cause innocent people like you and your loved ones to suffer serious injuries. At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville car accident lawyers have helped victims get fair compensation for their accident-related expenses for years, and we can help you, too. Call us today at (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online contact form.