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How you can make Labor Day weekend safer for everyone

By John Singleton on August 30, 2018

The “100 deadliest days of driving” end on Labor Day, according to the National Safety Council. And sadly, they often end with a bang because Labor Day consistently ranks as one of the most dangerous days of the year for people on the road, along with Memorial Day and Independence Day.

This year, 45,800 serious traffic-related injuries and 402 traffic fatalities are predicted across the country for the Labor Day weekend, according to the NSC.

Let’s all do our part to lower those numbers here in Eastern Virginia!

Why is Labor Day more dangerous for drivers and passengers?

The main reason Labor Day has more traffic accidents is, quite simply, more people are on the road. More than 34 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles over the weekend, according to the American Automobile Association. The AAA predicts that the relatively reasonable gas prices may encourage even more driving this year. Labor Day represents the end of summer, and everyone is eager to use the weekend for one last hurrah before the fall. We are no exception!

Distracted driving contributes to many crashes on holidays and every day. Now, 80 percent of crashes in Virginia are tied to distracted driving, according to the AAA.

Another reason Labor Day is more dangerous is that more drunk drivers are on the road. A holiday weekend can encourage people to drink more, resulting in more drunk driving accidents. In Gloucester County alone, we’ve already had 20 alcohol-related crashes this year. That’s better than the 50 crashes we had in all of 2017, but we do not want Labor Day weekend to reverse our improving number.

Tips for a safer Labor Day weekend

At GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, we want you to have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend. So we’ve compiled some safe driving tips from several reliable sources. We hope you’ll use them in your travels:

  • Never drink and drive.
  • Put your cell phone on silent or give it to your passenger for safe-keeping before you leave for your trip.
  • Leave early to avoid traffic, and allow plenty of time for travel.
  • Start out with a full tank of gas.
  • Make sure all car fluids are topped off, including windshield wiper fluid, oil, coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid.
  • Make sure your tires are adequately inflated. Make sure your spare tire is properly inflated and in good condition.
  • Have your brakes serviced.
  • Plan ahead. Map out your route using GPS or another tool before driving.
  • Don’t cut in front of tractor-trailer trucks. Tractor-trailers are heavier and require more time and distance to stop. Be aware of a tractor-trailer’s blind spots.
  • Pack an emergency kit with flares, first-aid supplies, flashlight, snacks, and a cell phone charger.
  • If you have AAA or a similar roadside service plan, make sure you have your card handy with emergency assistance numbers.
  • Let your loved ones know when you’re leaving, and when to expect you!
  • Download and print our “What should I do if I’m in a car accident” card, and keep it in your glove compartment so you will know what to do if you are in a wreck.

What to do if you’re in an accident on Labor Day weekend

First, take a deep breath, and try to calm down. Then call 911. Never admit fault for the accident, even if you think you may have done something wrong. Often, you don’t know the whole story only from your view in the driver’s seat.

Exchange insurance information with the other drivers involved. Always take a photo of their license plates, or write down their license numbers. Do not speak to the other drivers’ insurance companies alone.

Get medical attention if you need it! Then request a copy of the police report. Again, our card can remind you of exactly what you need to do following a wreck if you keep it in your car.

Finally, contact an experienced Virginia traffic accident lawyer. We can explain your options so that you can make well-informed decisions. There’s no obligation to meet with us. Our legal team at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys has extensive experience in helping accident victims, and you can take advantage what we’ve learned.

Please use caution when driving this Labor Day weekend. We hope to see NO accidents in Eastern Virginia. But if you are injured, we are here to help. Give us a call at (804) 413-6777 for a free meeting.

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Community service

Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.

  • Safety Education
    GibsonSingleton launches a “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
  • Annual Coat Drive
    During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
  • Hands-on Service
    John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
  • Supporting Local Schools
    The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.