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4 Tips Regarding Driving This Labor Day Weekend

Be careful out there this Labor Day weekend! Labor Day weekend is a holiday weekend that has the 2nd highest number of fatalities of record on federal and state highways in Idaho; second to only Thanksgiving. The average number of reported fatalities during Labor Day weekend in Idaho since 2008 is an average of 544; 45 % of which are alcohol related.

People are taking time off this holiday season to celebrate in essence the last part of summer. Many will head to the highway to go camping; many will travel to see family. Many most Americans will be taking the day off as a celebrated national holiday on Monday. This places more cars on the road; and hence the risk of getting into a motor vehicle crash are significantly higher than most other holidays.

In Idaho, speed limits have increased in many parts of the state to 80 miles per hour. That means that vehicles are traveling 117.34 feet per second. That means in just 2.55 seconds, a vehicle at 80 miles an hour has traveled the distance of an entire football field.

This year the Idaho Department of Transportation has reported that teenagers between 15 and 19 are 2 ½ times more likely to die in a car crash due to texting and aggressive driving.

New vehicles have more electronics in the cab of the vehicle than ever before. Many cars have GPS Mapping; many have wireless mobile phone connections; and the dashboard has many additional additives that constitute distractions to drivers while they are driving.

So what can drivers do this Labor Day weekend to minimize the risk of getting into an accident?

1. Stay focused on the road. Shut off your phone while driving to minimize the risk of having a distraction while you are driving. If the phone rings, you’ll take your eyes off the road to see who is calling.

2. Follow the posted speed limit. Increasing speed beyond the speed limit only reduces your reaction time to any risk of harm that presents itself to you on the road whether it’s another vehicle changing lanes or perhaps a vehicle slowing down due to traffic stopping in front of the vehicle in front of you. Speed kills.

3 Make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. People who leave late for an appointment tend to succumb to the pressure of driving faster and/or aggressively to make up time. By giving yourself more time to arrive at your destination, you feel less pressure to speed or drive aggressively.

4. Don’t drink and drive. Even one drink diminishes your ability to drive. Even though the legal limit to driving under the influence is .08 (BAC) in Idaho, driving a vehicle at .05 BAC delays your reaction time and slows down your ability to react to hazardous conditions on the road. By avoiding the consumption of drugs and alcohol while driving, you decrease the hazard of you becoming involved in an accident.

There are more vehicles traveling on the road this holiday season than any other holiday season other than Thanksgiving. Be kind. Be courteous, and be aware. Most importantly, drive defensively to avoid becoming another statistic the Labor Day weekend.

However, if you are unfortunate to become involved in an accident, don’t hesitate to call Boise Trial Lawyer Alan Morton for an initial free consultation at 208.344.5555 or toll free at 888.716.8021 or complete an online contact form to schedule an appointment.

Alan Morton
Advocate for Justice/Trial Lawyer