Over 460 people may lose their lives in roadway collisions this Labor Day weekend — an alarming 19% jump from the 350 who died in crashes over the 2020 three-day weekend, according to the National Safety Council.
The traditional end-of-summer holiday kicks off on Friday and runs through Monday.
Now is a good time for fleet operators to remind drivers that Labor Day weekend ranks among the most hazardous holidays on the nation’s roads. Drivers who work on the holiday weekend should be urged to keep their best defensive driving practices in mind.
Here’s some practical advice to offer your fleet drivers:
Steer clear of hostile drivers. With high temperatures and dense traffic, it’s easy for tempers to flare. If you encounter hostile drivers — honking horns, tailgating, or yelling out car windows — it’s best to move as far away as possible. Do not make eye contact and do not engage with aggressive drivers. The best safety strategy is to simply keep your distance.
Anticipate impaired drivers. Backyard barbeques and beach outings are a priority for Labor Day celebrators, but that can also mean more impaired drivers on the road. Over 10,000 people lost their lives in drunk-driving crashes in 2019 alone. Fleet drivers need to be extra cautious over the holiday weekend. If you see a driver who swerves constantly and can’t seem to stay in his lane, get out of his way. Keep your distance and if needed, pull over and call 911 to report the driver.
Avoid distractions. As always, do not eat, fiddle with phones, or try to set your GPS while operating your vehicle. Distracted driving claimed the lives of 3,142 people in 2019. To stay safe, you need to stay focused at all times while behind the wheel.
Don't speed and do buckle up. Commercial drivers know the dangers of speeding all too well. Speeding killed 9,478 people in 2019, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Faster is not better — it puts everyone on the road at risk. …But do wear your seatbelt at all times. Buckling up saves lives. Seat belt use in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 14,955 lives in 2017.