Labor Day weekend is the big summer good-bye party. In a few days, Pennsylvania highways will be mobbed with people trying to get in one more beach trip, festival, picnic or family reunion before the new school year gets under way. But the crowded roads, combined with fast-paced and sometimes careless travelers, can be dangerous, or even fatal.
The statistics are alarming. Last year, the Pennsylvania State Police reported that six people died and 262 others were injured in 746 crashes during the Labor Day holiday driving period. Of the total crashes, 88 were alcohol-related, including one fatal crash. The best way to avoid being a statistic this year is to be smart, slow down and be careful.
Before you go on the road make sure your vehicle is in good shape. Have your tires checked and make sure your brakes work. Make sure you have enough oil and wiper fluid. Have repair essentials, including a flashlight, jumper cables, tire gauge and basic tool kit, in your vehicle. Your cell phone should be fully charged and you should also have a car charger. Keep a first aid kit in your vehicle, and have food, water and a blanket on hand in case you are stranded.
Beating the traffic will make traveling easier and ultimately safer. Leave early Saturday morning, or even after rush hour tonight, if you can. If you are returning home on Monday, try to avoid being on the road between 4 and 10 p.m., the busiest hours. Plan your route by using a GPS or other mapping system. Try to find out if there are work areas that might slow traffic down along the way, and come up with an alternate route, if necessary.
Obey the laws
Everyone in your vehicle should be wearing a seat belt, and infants and small children should be secured in car seats that meet the legal requirements for their age and weight (see www.dmv.org/pa.) Stick to the speed limit, and don’t weave in and out of busy traffic. You might not be able to stop quickly if you have to. Be especially careful around trucks and other large vehicles.
One of the biggest favors you can do for yourself is to stay alert. Make sure you are rested before you drive a long distance. Never drive if you are tired or if you have had any alcohol to drink. And don’t forget that Pennsylvania law bans all texting while driving.
If you keep these simple steps in mind, your trip will go by quickly and before long you will arrive safely at your destination, and back home again. The attorneys and staff at Powell Law wish you all a safe and happy Labor Day weekend.
Established in 1906, Powell Law is Northeastern Pennsylvania’s oldest personal injury law firm. Our PA personal injury lawyers have successfully represented thousands of clients in serious personal injury cases, including PA car accidents, tractor-trailer accidents, motorcycle accidents, PA medical malpractice, PA worker’s comp, slip and fall, product-related injuries and Social Security disability claims. Our PA criminal defense attorneys represent defendants in all types of summary, misdemeanor and felony cases ranging from drunk driving cases to major crimes in both state and federal courts. Powell Law has offices in Scranton, Stroudsburg, Taylor and Moscow. Call us toll free at 800-290-7707.