ITASCA, Ill., Aug. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Safety Council estimates 421 people may be killed and another 48,400 may be seriously injured in car crashes during the upcoming Labor Day holiday period.i The estimate is the highest the Council has issued for the three-day Labor Day holiday period since 2008, and is 11 percent higher than the average number of deaths – 378 – for that weekend.ii
The Labor Day holiday begins at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1 and ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday, Sept. 4.
"Many families will use Labor Day weekend to make their final summer memories before kids return to school," said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. "We want that last hurrah to be fun, not fatal. When you are on the roads, be alert and drive defensively - making smart decisions could be the difference between a relaxing long weekend and one spent in the emergency room."
Preventable deaths have reached an all-time high, according to the National Safety Council State of Safety report. These deaths, many of which occur on our roads, have prompted the Council to call for state actions proven to reduce residents' risks.
States receiving an "A" for road safety have strong laws – including texting bans, primary seat belt laws and sobriety checkpoints – in place to help protect drivers passing through. The seven states that received an "A" are Illinois, Louisiana, Washington, D.C., Delaware, Maine, West Virginia and Maryland. Nine states – Nevada, Florida, Mississippi, Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona, Missouri, South Dakota and Montana – received an "F".
Tips for safer Labor Day travel include:
- Buckle up on every trip in every seating position
- Make sure children are properly restrained in the appropriate seats for their height, weight and age
- Designate an alcohol and drug-free driver or arrange alternate transportation
- Get plenty of sleep and take regular breaks to avoid fatigue
- Never use a cell phone behind the wheel, even hands-free
- Sign a New Driver Deal with teen drivers at DriveitHOME.org
- Learn about your vehicle's safety systems and how to use them at MyCarDoesWhat.org
- Check your vehicle for recalls at ChecktoProtect.org
Supplemental traffic fatality estimates information can be found here.
About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council (nsc.org) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact.
i According to NSC analysis. "Serious injuries" are classified as those requiring medical attention.
ii According to NSC analysis. The estimated fatality total for the 2017 Labor Day holiday period is 11 percent higher than the average actual number of fatalities – 378 – that occurred during the previous six Labor Day holiday periods for which data are available.
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SOURCE National Safety Council