Once again, traffic fatality estimates are higher than normal for the upcoming Labor Day weekend which begins Friday at 1 p.m.
The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates 421 people may be killed and another 48,400 may be seriously injured in car crashes for the three-day holiday period, which is 11 percent higher than the average number of deaths, 378 for past Labor Day weekends.
“Many families will use Labor Day weekend to make their final summer memories before kids return to school,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, NSC president and CEO in a statement. “We want that last hurrah to be fun, not fatal. When you are on the roads, be alert and drive defensively - making smart decisions could be the difference between a relaxing long weekend and one spent in the emergency room.”
The organization's recent State of Safety report states that preventable deaths are at an all-time high, and many fatalities are on the road. In response, the NSC has called for stronger state driving laws and has assigned ratings to states based on existing measures to prevent accidents.
States receiving an “A” for road safety have strong laws such as texting bans, primary seat belt laws and sobriety checkpoints in place to help protect drivers passing through. The NSC has identified seven states that received an “A” – Illinois, Louisiana, Washington, D.C., Delaware, Maine, West Virginia and Maryland. Nevada, Florida, Mississippi, Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona, Missouri, South Dakota and Montana received an “F," according to the NSC.
Eight safety tips to stay safe this holiday weekend are available in the slideshow. Click through the gallery to see what the NSC recommends.