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For Immediate Release,
8/20/2012
Contact:
Kathy Lane
Communications Director
(630) 775-2307
kathy.lane@nsc.org
 
Drive safely this Labor Day weekend 
The National Safety Council releases traffic fatality estimates and safety tips for Labor Day weekend
The National Safety Council has released its estimates for traffic crashes for the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend, which begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 3. The Council estimates 405 traffic fatalities and another 40,500 medically consulted injuries will occur over the traditional end-of-summer weekend from motor vehicle collisions. An evaluation of recent Labor Day holiday period fatality estimates is shown in the table below.
   
    Evaluation of Recent Labor Day Holiday Period Estimates
Year
Estimate
90% Confidence Interval
Actual
2005
475
420-537
500
2006
533
477-595
487
2007
490
440-544
508
2008
439
384-501
473
2009
404
356-457
351
2010
368
320-422
390
 
The Council also estimates 148 people may survive the holiday weekend because they will have worn safety belts, while another 101 lives would have been saved if all had worn safety belts. Because Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest and deadliest times on U.S. roadways, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is enforcing a National Impaired Driving Enforcement Crackdown from  Aug. 17 – Sept. 3. During this time, law enforcement officials are focusing their attention on impaired drivers.
NSC encourages organizations and individuals to use NHTSA planning materials, including posters and television ads, to educate employees and their local communities about driving safely this Labor Day weekend. The Council also suggests:
  • If you are drinking, do not drive
  • If you plan to drink, designate a non-drinking driver or plan for alternative transportation, such as a taxi
  • Support the strengthening and vigorous enforcement of impaired-driving laws
  • Young drivers are at particular risk to be involved in alcohol-related crashes (If there is a young driver in your family, strictly enforce a zero tolerance policy with alcohol – all states have a zero tolerance law where drivers under the age of 21 cannot have any alcohol in their systems)
  • Your best defense against a drunk driver is wearing your safety belt, so buckle up
There are a number of other dangers to Labor Day weekend drivers besides impaired driving. Follow these additional tips to stay safe:
  • Establish and enforce a driver’s distraction-free zone, especially in cars equipped with electronic devices including cell phones, video games and global positioning systems
  • Make sure all passengers are buckled up and children are in safety seats appropriate for their size
  • Allow plenty of travel time to avoid frustration and diminish the impulse to speed
  • Drive defensively and exercise caution, especially during inclement weather
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