In the late 19th century, labor activists fought for and won their battle for a national holiday recognizing the myriad contributions workers have made to the “strength, prosperity, and well-being” of our great nation (U.S. Department of Labor). Every year since 1894, Americans have celebrated the contributions of our laborers.
Picnics, parties, parades, and other gatherings are common ways to recognize Labor Day, and for some, unfortunately, drinking and driving has become a part of the ritual.
Only two days rank higher than Labor Day for the number of fatal automobile accidents (Thanksgiving and Independence Day), and the National Safety Council predicts nearly 400 fatalities of this nature. The fact that drinking and driving account for roughly one-third of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. indicates that many if not all of these deaths are preventable (Trafficsefetymarketing.gov).
In addition to fatalities, an estimated 44,000 individuals will incur injuries serious enough to require medical assistance (National Safety Council).
What can you do to stay safe? There are some options you can exercise to avoid becoming one of the grim statistics.
- If you are planning to drink, even if it’s just one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver. If a friend who has been drinking is planning to drive, take away the keys and/or find a sober driver for your friend.
- Stay off the road if possible after dark. The rate of alcohol-impaired drivers more than triples at night compared to daylight hours (Trafficsafetymarketing.gov).
- Wear your seatbelt and insist that others in your car do the same. Research indicates that seat belts are 45% effective in preventing fatalities for front-seat car passengers (National Safety Council). If you are in the back seat, buckle up there too. Though some believe that the back seat is safe without a seat belt, the reality is that an unbuckled rider in the rear seat is eight times more likely to be killed or injured in a crash than one who is buckled (Washington Post).
At Waitte’s Insurance Agency, we wish you a happy and safe Labor Day. Give us a call when you are ready to discuss your unique insurance needs.