Every year, the Labor Day holiday brings an increased number of drivers to U.S. roadways. Estimates released by AAA earlier this week suggest that over 34 million Americans will travel a distance of 50 miles or greater over the holiday weekend. These numbers represent a 4.2 percent gain from the number of Americans who traveled the same distance during the Labor Day holiday in 2012. AAA President and CEO, Robert L. Darbelnet attributes this increased travel to an enhanced economic outlook over previous years as well as, greater confidence in the housing market. In addition, gas prices are down by 2.7 percent as compared to Labor Day weekend last year.
According to the National Safety Council, more drivers on U.S. roadways will also lead to an increased risk of traffic accident related fatalities. The organization predicts that 394 traffic accident related deaths will occur nationwide this holiday weekend. This is a 6 percent increase in traffic accident related deaths from the previous year. Furthermore, the organization estimates that an additional 42,200 will require medical attention for traffic accident related injuries.
At least one traffic accident related fatality has occurred in Georgia this weekend.
Georgia has already experienced at least one traffic accident related fatality over the weekend. According to Georgia State Police, 67 year old Elbert Foster of Bowman, Georgia was killed in a Saturday morning traffic accident which occurred along Georgia Highway 98, just a mile north of Comer in Madison County. According to the police report issued by Georgia State Police, the victim was driving his 2004 Dodge Ram pickup truck northbound along Georgia Highway 98 when the vehicle veered off the west shoulder, striking a nearby tree. No other vehicles were involved in the motor vehicle accident. Investigators reported that the victim was not wearing a seatbelt and that alcohol may have been a contributing factor to the accident.
National Safety Council suggests that wearing a seatbelt and avoiding drunk driving can drastically reduce traffic accident related fatalities over the holiday weekend.
According to the National Safety Council, the single most effective way to reduce traffic related fatalities over the Labor Day weekend is to buckle up. The organization estimates that over 140 traffic related fatalities could be avoided by employing this safety measure.
Another safety measure suggested by the organization is designating a sober driver or planning for alternative modes of transportation if alcohol is consumed. This year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as well as, thousands of state and local law enforcement agencies across the country will be participating in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. The initiative is designed to reduce the number of dunk driving related traffic accidents that occur over Labor Day weekend through the use of high visibility enforcement of drunk driving laws.
If you or a loved one are involved in a traffic related accident over the Labor Day weekend, you should contact an attorney immediately. An attorney can review the circumstances of your accident to determine if someone else’s negligence contributed to your injuries. If so, an attorney can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.