This weekend is Labor Day, the holiday that celebrates workers.
We hope you have fun plans for the end-of-summer hurrah. And we also hope you’ll stay safe over the holiday weekend.
With so many people traveling, spending time at the pool, beach or lake and grilling out, Labor Day can be a prime time for injuries.
The National Safety Council estimates nearly 400 people will die in automobile accidents over the Labor Day weekend, and some 42,000 people will suffer injuries requiring medical treatment.
Wearing your seatbelt — and making sure others in the car with you buckle up, too — is one of the smartest safety measures you can take this weekend.
The National Safety Council estimates that seatbelts will save 143 lives this weekend. And if everyone buckled up, the number of Labor Day traffic fatalities would be reduced by 100.
“NSC issues fatality estimates for major holiday periods to draw attention to the need for drivers to exercise safe driving practices, especially when a significant number of drivers are expected to be on our nation’s roads,” said Janet Froetscher, NSC president and CEO.
Thanks to lower gas prices and an improving economy, AAA Carolinas estimates a 5 percent increase in Labor Day travel this weekend by North Carolinians.
An expected 972,600 North Carolina residents will travel more than 50 miles from home during the five-day holiday travel period, which ends Monday.
To ensure a safe Labor Day holiday weekend, NSC recommends drivers:
- 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 (We’ve warned about distracted driving before.)
- 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
The American Red Cross also suggests that drivers carry an emergency supply kit in their trunk. It’s also a good idea to let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive.
Roadways aren’t the only place where you need to exercise caution this weekend.
Swimming pools, lakes, beaches and backyard barbecues also pose risks.
Follow these Labor Day safety tips from the American Red Cross to ensure that your holiday celebrations remain fun and safe.
Tips for Safe Swimming
- Check weather and water conditions beforehand and throughout the day.
- Always swim with a buddy in a designated swimming area supervised by a lifeguard.
- Provide constant supervision to children in or near the water and always stay within arm’s reach of young children and inexperienced swimmers while they are in the water.
- Young children and inexperienced swimmers should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.
Tips for Safe Grilling
- Keep the grill away from the house, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Keep children and pets away from the grill.
- Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.