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Labor Day Driving Safety

Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer. While it can be tempting to squeeze in as much fun as possible into the long weekend, it is important to do so responsibly.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is conducting its annual "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" law enforcement crackdown on drunk driving through September 7, 2015. In addition to reminding the public about the dangers of impaired driving, the initiative also involves more than 10,000 law enforcement agencies that will be on the road policing for drunk drivers.

As highlighted by the NHTSA, alcohol-impaired fatalities accounted for 31 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States in 2013. Of the 10,076 people who died in drunk driving crashes that year, 68 percent were in crashes in which at least one driver in the crash had a blood-alcohol content of .15 or higher – nearly twice the legal limit.

The risk of encountering a drunk driver increases on holiday weekends, particularly during the evening hours. During the Labor Day period in 2013, 38 percent of crash fatalities involved drunk drivers, resulting in 161 fatalities. The risk also grows after the sun goes down — half of all the motor vehicle fatalities that occurred at night involved drunk drivers, as compared to 14 percent during the day.

Given the risks, we encourage all of our readers to exercise caution when traveling on San Diego roadways over the Labor Day Weekend. Below are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Don’t drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
  • If you plan to drink, appoint a designated driver, take public transportation, or call a taxi.
  • Get plenty of rest before embarking on a road trip to fend off fatigued driving.
  • Avoid distractions when behind the wheel, particularly cell phones.
  • Always buckle up. Check to see that all children are properly buckled in appropriate safety seats.
  • Avoid speeding and aggressive driving by allowing plenty of time to reach your destination.