Labor Day is fast approaching, a three-day holiday celebrating the American worker that will be officially celebrated from 6:00 p.m., Friday, August 30, through 11:59 p.m., Monday, September 2, 2013. According to the Department of Labor, this holiday has been celebrated every year since 1882, when a machinist named Matthew McGuire first instituted the holiday for New York City union workers with a demonstration and a picnic.
According to AAA, the well-known non-profit organization of motor clubs in all 50 states, a record-breaking number of people will be traveling on American roadways this Labor Day weekend. In fact, AAA is predicting a “post-recession high” of 34.1 million Americans traveling at least 50 miles away from home over this upcoming holiday.
“As schools across the nation usher in their next session of students, the Labor Day holiday provides families with the opportunity for one final extended summer weekend getaway,” said AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet. “AAA reminds drivers as they head out for the holiday and the school year is beginning that safety should remain top of mind. It is important to remain distraction-free and keep their mind on the task of driving.”
Sadly, Hundreds of Traffic Deaths Will Happen This Labor Day Holiday Warns National Safety Council
This week, from its headquarters in Itasca, Illinois, the National Safety Council announced the statistical estimates from its safety experts regarding what all this holiday traffic on American roads is going to mean, safety-wise.
The NSC is predicting that there will be almost 400 people who will die in a car crash or traffic accident during this year’s Labor Day Holiday, and that 42,200 people are going to be injured enough to need medical care as a result of an accident or wreck during the Labor Day Weekend.
The National Safety Council doesn’t stop there — they are warning people to try and avoid becoming a fatality statistic by doing the following protective actions:
- Establish and enforce a distraction-free zone, especially in cars equipped with electronic devices including cell phones, global positioning systems and other in-vehicle technology
- Make sure all passengers are buckled up and children are in safety seats appropriate for their age and size
- Allow plenty of travel time to avoid frustration and diminish the impulse to speed
- Drive defensively and exercise caution, especially during inclement weather
- Designate a non-drinking driver or plan for alternative transportation, such as a taxi.
In fact, NSC believes that SEAT BELTS can help to save many lives over this Labor Day Weekend. According to their data, the National Safety Council tallies 143 traffic deaths can be avoided this 2013 Labor Day weekend if people will use their seat belts during their Labor Day driving.
Seat Belt Laws For Indiana and Illinois – Seat Belts Are Mandatory Here
Both Indiana and Illinois have had seat belt laws on the books for years now. Indiana passed its seat belt law in 1987, Illinois followed suit in 1988.
In both Indiana and Illinois, it is illegal for anyone in a vehicle over the age of 16 years old not to wear a seat belt — and child restraints are required for kids aged 7 years and under. (For children between the ages of 8 and 15, an adult seat belt is usually acceptable.)
Unfortunately, despite these warnings and the laws that are in place, people will suffer wrongful deaths over this Holiday Weekend. Others will be severely injured in car crashes and traffic accidents where they sustain life-altering injuries like spinal cord traumas and traumatic brain injuries.
Please be careful out there and take all the precautions you can to not become one of these statistics, where lives are forever changed in a split second by a tragic auto accident.
Have a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend this year!