Labor Day weekend reminded everyone in North Carolina and Virginia to plan ahead when road traveling. According to WECT.com, being prepared is important to ensure a safe trip. The National Safety Council has predicted that 400 people will lose their lives over the 2011 holiday weekend. The council based this estimate on statistics showing that for the past six years, the Labor Day weekend averaged 14.6 percent more traffic fatalities than similar non-holiday periods.
Drivers in Virginia and North Carolina can impact road safety year round by following defensive driving tips:
- Maintain your car: Go to a auto shop to have a routine check of the car done before going on a long trip. Get all fluids checked, pump air into the tires, and make sure brakes are in top condition. Keep inside a car an emergency kit that includes jumper cables, flash light, tire gauge, first-aid kit and rags.
- Wear seat belts: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, buckling up saves lives, reducing bodily injuries and deaths by about 50%. Secure your kids in appropriately fitted car seats.
- Don’t drink or do drugs before driving: All 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws making it a crime to drive with a blood alcohol concentration at or above a certain level, currently 0.08. Drinking alcohol or doing controlled substances prior to driving slows reaction time and impairs coordination and judgment.
- Follow speed limits: Leave early to prevent the need to speed when running late.
- Don’t get distracted: Do not do things in a car that distract your focus from the road. Do not get into emotional discussions with a passenger, text or use the cell while driving. Do not eat, read a newspaper or put on makeup while driving.
- Secure pets: Secure cats and dogs in the event of sudden stops. A loose pet may crash through the windshield or distract a driver.