For many Floridians, the long three-day Labor Day weekend is the last vestige of summer and their final chance to enjoy some fun in the sun. Children, teenagers, parents, and adults will hop in their cars and head to their favorite holiday spot.
Millions of out-of-state vacationers will also descend by plane, train, and automobile on South Florida to take advantage of Florida’s beautiful beaches. This influx of people will further crowd our already crowded roads.
The long Labor Day weekend certainly involves parades, BBQs, and fireworks. Unfortunately, the sharp uptick in the number of drivers also means an increase in car accidents, injuries, and deaths.
It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Hurt
Holiday weekends are times of great joy and revelry. They are also notorious for being more dangerous for drivers than non-holiday weekends. Labor Day weekend and other summertime holidays are especially risky.
According to the National Safety Council, an estimated 390 people may die on U.S. roads over the 2020 Labor Day weekend. The NSC also estimates that an additional 44,400 people will be injured in car accidents.
Labor Day + Coronavirus = Perfect Storm
As we head into this Labor Day weekend in particular, there are two factors that appear to be coming together to make a perfect storm for car accidents. Many Americans, Floridians included, have been cooped up in their homes for months. We may still be going to work, going to the grocery store, and seeing the occasional friend, but we’ve been doing so under the specter of COVID-19.
Everyone is feeling an acute sense of cabin fever at this point and a burning desire to get out of the house. Because the Labor Day weekend is traditionally many Americans’ “last hurrah” before summer ends we could see a massive explosion of reckless activity as people try make the best of the last remnants of a summer that has been mostly spent indoors.
Causes of Labor Day Car Accidents
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, travel companies estimate that nearly 1 million people are planning to fly to Florida for Labor Day. These numbers don’t include the families who will drive to avoid congested airports and airplanes. As millions of people flock to South Florida and Floridians themselves hit the road, the roadways become more crowded, particularly with out-of-state drivers.
Holiday travel often involves driving at odd hours in order to make the most of your free time. Leaving early in the morning or driving well into the night so you can make it to your destination is common for vacationers. However, crash statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that car accidents are three times more likely to occur between 6 pm and 6 am than during daylight hours.
Drunk and Impaired Driving
A long holiday weekend means festivities, and festivities often mean alcohol consumption. While revelry can be done safely, too often it is not. Drunk or impaired driving is a huge cause of road fatalities over the Labor Day weekend. According to NCS data, over Labor Day weekend 2018 38% of traffic accident fatalities involved an alcohol-impaired driver. Worse still, drunk drivers are more likely to injure or kill other drivers than themselves.
How to Protect Yourself and Loved Ones
Most of the car accident deaths and injuries that happen over the Labor Day weekend will be deaths and injuries that didn’t need to happen. Just as the actions listed above can lead to increases in fatalities, you can take actions to decrease the number of accidents, injuries, and deaths that will occur on Florida roads this Labor Day weekend.
Every driver can help make our roads safer, whether you’re a Florida native or a first-time visitor. Here are a few tips to keep you and your loved ones safe as you partake in the Labor Day festivities this year:
- Practice defensive driving
- Obey all Florida driving laws
- Designate a sober driver or arrange transportation
- Never driver tired or fatigued
- Try to drive during the day
- Allow extra time to reach your destination
- Avoid distracted driving
- Ensure everyone wears a seatbelt
Get Help and Start to Recover
We sincerely hope you follow these tips and have a fun and safe holiday weekend. However, regardless of how many tips we list and even if you follow every single one of them, there are still reckless and negligent drivers on the road. Even if you do everything right, a single aggressive, distracted, or drunk driver can put the safety of everyone at risk.
If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident over Labor Day weekend, we can help. Get started on your path to a financial recovery by calling our experienced Florida car accident and injury lawyers to guide you through the claims process.
The personal injury lawyers here at Personal Injury & Accident Law Center would love to speak to you about your case and tell you how we can help you get on the path to a full recovery. Call us today at (561)372-3800 to schedule a free case evaluation or fill out the form below.