Labor Day is usually the last time for families to get some vacation time before heading into the busy school year. Most travelers drive to their destinations which explains why this holiday sees such a high rise in traffic accidents. We’ll dive into the sobering statistics around Labor Day travel. We’ll also highlight ways you can keep safe on the road.
Labor Day Travel Accident Statistics
The National Safety Council (NSC) produces an annual estimate for traffic fatality estimates. Most years, these estimates are pretty close to the actual statistics. Their estimate was off in late 2020 when folks were anxious to get out and about after the pandemic shut so much down. The pandemic has continued to play into driver behavior, as many elect to drive near and far to get away from it all.
For 2022, the NSC estimates that as many as 456 people may die while on the road during Labor Day travel. Additionally, some 52,000 people are expected to have accident-related injuries that are serious enough to require medical attention.
For their analysis, the NSC defined the Labor Day holiday as the period between 6 p.m. on Friday, September 2nd through 11:59 p.m. Monday, September 5th. Since most travel by road, it’s no surprise we see this mode of transportation as the one with the highest fatality rate. The NSC cites alcohol as one of the top contributing factors to why we tend to see more crashes during holiday travel. During Labor Day alone, the NSC reports that 38% of fatal accidents in past years have involved a driver impaired by alcohol.
This graph, courtesy of the National Safety Council Injury Facts, reflects data pulled from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).
Staying Safe this Labor Day
Knowing that Labor Day produces thousands of accident-related injuries and hundreds of deaths each year is indeed sobering. However, even with the risks, most of us won’t think twice about hopping in the car and heading to our destination this holiday. So, how do you stay safe while on the road?
Here are a few tips from the NHTSA:
- Wear Your Seatbelt. Period.
- Stay Alert: Drowsy driving accounts for about 100,000 crashes annually on the roadway (NSC).
- Avoid Risky Behavior: obey the speed limit and other roadway laws.
- Service Your Vehicle Before Your Road Trip
- Tires: where the literal “rubber meets the road,” your tires play a significant role in safe driving. Always inspect for the recommended tread depth, inflation pressure, and even tread wear.
- Car AC: Labor Day is still technically the summer, and hot temps are especially hard on infants, the elderly, and those with underlying health conditions.
- Brakes: if you hear squealing or grinding, your brake system may need service. Make sure to have this crucial safety system inspected before departing.
- Children and Infants: Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13. For child passengers, find the right car seat and install it correctly. Remember, this is dependent on your child’s age and weight.
- Pedestrians: Be mindful of pedestrians and bicycles sharing the roadway. In Florida, vehicles must yield the right of way to pedestrians in a designated crosswalk. (§316.130)
What to Do After a Car Accident Changes Everything
Our law firm is made up of accident attorneys helping clients pick up the pieces after a car accident has turned their world upside down. Mainly, this means helping our clients find the proper treatment to get their medical needs taken care of and making sure insurance companies provide fair compensation.
If you find yourself suddenly facing a car accident this holiday, here are some important steps to take:
- Call emergency services, get medical attention if necessary, and request copies of the accident report and medical records.
- If it’s safe to do so, take pictures/videos of the accident scene. Make a note of the conditions at the time of the crash.
- Get the names and contact information of anyone who may have seen what happened.
- Do file a claim with your car insurance company. Don’t sign anything with your insurance company or even say too much. They may try to use this to justify underpaying or outright denying the claim.
To dive a little deeper into what happens after a car accident, check out this example from Eddie and Chuck on a recent episode of Legal Live—
When a client was hit by another vehicle, she had an officer fill out an accident report, and the other driver was ticketed. Afterward, the client didn’t hire a lawyer. She thought she’d see her doctor and figure out the rest later. A few months later, she decided to hire us to take care of her case. We filed a lawsuit and the response was that the at-fault driver (their policyholder) didn’t cause the accident.
Even though the accident report indicated who was at fault, this report alone isn’t enough to make a case. This is because of a Florida law called accident report privilege, and it’s not admissible in court. The moral of the story is to get a law firm from the beginning to handle personal injury cases. Our team goes to the accident, uses crash recreation experts to make the case, and protects our client’s rights from the beginning.
Hurt in an Accident While Traveling on Labor Day? We’ve Got You Covered Across the State and Beyond
Day in and day out, our firm helps accident victims get a fair shot at compensation and recovery. Lives are shattered in an instant and our job is to take the burden off our client’s shoulders so they can focus on healing. From helping find medical treatment and rental vehicles to handling all communication with the insurance company, our attorneys help our clients navigate the road to recovery.
Farah & Farah has attorneys throughout Florida and Georgia to help you no matter where you travel this Labor Day holiday. You can speak with an attorney now for free. They’ll look over all of the details of your case, cover the options available, and chart a path forward.