Labor Day Weekend ranks just behind Memorial Day Weekend for the most dangerous holiday period of the year. On average, there are 308 fatal auto accidents around Labor Day compared to 312 around Memorial Day. Vehicle crashes are only part of the equation, as many people take to the water to enjoy one of the last great weekends of the summer.
Be Mindful of COVID Risks
The world is experiencing a surge of COVID-19 cases that are attributed to the Delta variant of the virus, and Tennessee is no exception. If you decide to travel for Labor Day Weekend, avoid crowds as much as possible and limit gatherings. If you’re around other people outside of your household, continue social distancing and wearing a mask to reduce your risk of infection. And if you think you may have COVID-19, get tested and stay home to avoid putting others at risk.
If you’re traveling by car, you may face a litany of distractions while driving. For example, your vehicle’s infotainment system can be both beneficial and extremely distracting, as you may be tempted to constantly change apps or input new directions on your GPS. The same distractions are present with your smartphone, but you also may receive phone calls and text messages. If you need to take a call, send a text, or change your GPS, enlist a passenger to do it or pull over to a safe location first.
Remember Hot Car Dangers
Temperatures are finally dropping in Middle Tennessee, but they’re still hot enough to make vehicles potentially deadly places for children and pets that are left in them. Never leave a child, pet, or elderly family member in your vehicle for even just a few minutes without air conditioning, especially in the summer. Around 40 children die annually in hot cars, and their bodies heat much faster than adults. In addition, the inside temperature of a car can be 20 to 30 degrees hotter than the temperature outside, and it can reach that level in a matter of minutes. Double-check every time you exit your vehicle that you aren’t leaving anyone behind!
Don’t Drink and Drive
Driving is something many of us take for granted, but it’s a highly complex activity that requires clear vision, quick reflexes, and good judgment. And when you’re impaired after drinking alcohol—even just a few drinks—all of those necessary traits can be diminished. Your vision may become blurry, your reflexes may slow, and your judgment may become poor. When combined, those factors significantly increase your risk of being involved in an accident. If you drink over the Labor Day Weekend, appoint a designated driver beforehand, stay overnight where you are, or use a ride-hailing app/cab to get home.
Don’t Drink and Boat
Many people who are safety-conscious on the road become more relaxed when they’re on the water—and that includes drinking alcohol. Glasses of wine, beer, and cocktails are synonymous with boat days for some weekend revelers, but drinking and boating is extremely dangerous and illegal. Don’t put yourself in this situation! If you plan on drinking, appoint a sober (and licensed) driver to take the wheel of your boat. If you’re the only licensed boater in your party, don’t drink. Staying sober keeps yourself, your boat passengers, and other people enjoying the water safely.
Don’t Exceed the Speed Limit
Speeding is one of the most common causes of injury-causing and fatal crashes. Some people speed by habit, some do it absent-mindedly, and others do it because they’re running late and trying to make up lost time. Almost everyone speeds from time to time, and it’s something that requires constant observance while you’re driving to avoid. If the weather is good and the roads are dry, turning on cruise control can ensure you don’t speed. Remember to stay out of the left lane, as it’s reserved solely for passing other vehicles.
Pull Over if You Feel Drowsy
Drowsy driving is a silent epidemic raging on Tennessee’s roads. A significant number of adults in America are chronically sleep-deprived. Not getting enough sleep interferes with just about every aspect of life, including driving safely. When you don’t get enough sleep, your driving resembles that of someone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Try to catch up on rest in the days leading up to your Labor Day Weekend road trip, and if you feel drowsy during your trip, don’t hesitate to pull over. A quick nap in your vehicle in a safe location or stopping at a hotel for the night won’t just make your drive more enjoyable, but they could save your life.
Be Prepared for Your Activities
Many families enjoy trips to the beach or lake for Labor Day Weekend, while others may visit National Parks or go camping. Whichever activity your family chooses, take the proper precautions—especially if’s primarily outdoors. That means packing and wearing sunscreen, bringing along plenty of clean water and snacks, avoiding extreme heat during the hottest parts of the day, not pushing your limits in the water or on the trail, carefully putting out campfires, and sharing your plans with others if you plan on hiking, swimming, or boating.
Have a Plan for Accidents and Injuries
It’s important to do everything in your power to avoid accidents and injuries while also acknowledging that they can happen anytime, anywhere—even to the most safety-conscious among us. If you or someone you love is involved in an accident, taking the right steps can protect your health and your rights to compensation. They include calling 911, getting medical attention, exchanging contact information with other parties, reporting the accident to your insurer, and contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer.
We’re Here for Your Labor Day Accident Injury Claims
Being involved in an accident or suffering an injury on Labor Day is the last thing anyone wants to experience during their holiday weekend. But it’s an unfortunate reality for hundreds of Tennesseans every year. If you or someone you love is injured because of someone else’s negligence, our Nashville personal injury lawyers want to help.
At Matt Hardin Law, we have decades of experience helping injured victims get the compensation they need for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Contact us today. Our consultations are free, and we’ll work hard to get you the recovery you deserve.