SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Labor Day weekend is historically one of the deadliest on the roads. 22News is working for you with ways to stay safe.
“Holiday weekends. I try not to go anywhere. Just stay home. I have a nice house, it’s comfortable, just stay home and relax. Not be stressed out by having to travel anywhere,” said Van Gothner of Wilbraham. But many do travel on Labor Day weekend, to celebrate the unofficial end of summer.
This Labor Day weekend is expected to be the busiest on the roads since 2008, according to AAA. The travel and motor club estimates 34.7 million Americans to travel more than 50 miles in the skies or on the roads, which means more chance for accidents.
The National Safety Council predicted more than 38,000 accidents this weekend nationwide, making it one of the deadliest times of the year to drive.
“We wondered about that this morning too leaving earlier because people being drunk and still driving at 7 in the morning. And all the accidents going the wrong way nowadays, so we wondered about that,” said Richard McDonough of Long Island, New York. He was helping his daughter move back to Springfield College for the year. They left early to avoid traffic.
If you do plan on drinking, don’t drive. Designate someone else to drive.
Ray Martin of Northampton said he has no patience for drunk drivers. “Let God be your guidance because you got no guidance whatsoever,” he said.
We might not be able to control other drivers on the road, but there are ways that we can stay safe. First, always wear a seatbelt. You have a better chance of survival in the case of a crash. Second, avoid any distractions while driving. If you have to, take your phone and put it completely out of view so you’re not tempted to look at it. That’s the message from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. The MassDOT highway signs read, “Your LOL and OMG can wait.”
The National Safety Council advises to also drive defensively and plan ahead.
“I definitely try to leave my friend’s house early if I’m hanging out with someone because I don’t want to driving alone at night and having people under the influence hitting me or something so definitely trying to leave early,” said Kevin DaSilva of Ludlow.
Allow plenty of time for travel so you don’t have to speed. Remember, your driving doesn’t just affect you, but everyone else around you on the highway.