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Labor Day weekend marks the final days of the infamous 100 Deadliest Days of Summer, which starts on Memorial Day weekend. During this time, there is generally a significant spike in car accidents due to a number of factors, including heavy traffic, an increased number of inexperienced teenage drivers on the road, and road construction. With the travel restrictions lifted, more people are packing up their cars and taking road trips to visit friends and family. However, even the best summer travel plans can be derailed by a serious car accident. By understanding some of the common causes of car accidents, motorists can take proactive steps to avoid serious collisions over Labor Day weekend.

What are Common Causes of Car Accidents on Labor Day Weekend?

Labor Day holiday weekend has a spike in car accidents. According to the Georgia State Patrol, 19 people were fatally injured in car accidents over the 2020 Labor The following are some of the most common causes of car accidents that occur on Labor Day weekend:
  • Increased number of motorists on the road: Traffic is generally higher during the summer, particularly on weekends when people are traveling to and from their vacation destinations. Since Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer, many travelers head to the beach, the lake, or other outdoor spots to get the most out of the last few days of summer. However, the increased traffic means that there is an increased risk of being involved in a serious car accident.
  • Drunk driving: The holiday weekend also means that there are parties, barbecues, and family get-togethers where alcohol is served. Too often, people get behind the wheel after having too much to drink, which can have devastating consequences. Even a small amount of alcohol can cause impairments.
  • Distracted driving: Texting and talking on the phone, reaching for something in the back seat, and interacting with other passengers in the vehicles are all examples of distracted driving. On Labor Day weekend, motorists have been known to engage in a range of distracted driving behaviors, including texting, posting a picture on social media, or changing the song selection. Unfortunately, even a few seconds of distracted driving can have serious consequences.
  • Inexperienced drivers: Over the holiday weekend, the number of inexperienced teenage drivers increases dramatically. It is the last weekend of the summer, so young drivers often plan day trips or weekend getaways with friends. However, motorists with limited driving experience are not always able to react quickly to unexpected situations. The lack of experience can increase the risk of a serious accident.

What Steps can I Take to Avoid a Labor Day Car Accident?

Fortunately, there are steps that motorists can do to stay safe while traveling over Labor Day weekend. Motorists are urged to keep the following safety tips in mind:
  • Do not drink and drive. Motorists who will be attending parties or events where alcohol will be served should pick a designated driver or arrange for a ride home from a rideshare service.
  • Plan the driving route. Even with navigation systems, it is a good idea to be familiar with the route, particularly for long trips.
  • Allow extra travel time. Motorists are likely to experience heavier than usual traffic, so they should give themselves extra time to reach their destination. This can avoid unnecessary speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of lanes, and aggressive driving.
  • Avoid distractions. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it takes an average of five seconds to send or read a text. If the motorist is driving at a speed of 55 miles per hour, that is comparative to driving the length of an entire football field.
  • Check the weather report. Heavy rain can cause roads to become wet and slippery, which can increase the risk of hydroplaning. Extreme sun glare can also be dangerous, particularly during rush hour. Motorists should keep their windshields, side mirrors, and windows clean at all times, wear polarized sunglasses, and keep their headlights on so other drivers can see the vehicle.
  • Prepare the vehicle. If motorists plan to take a road trip, it is essential that the vehicle is in good working order. That means checking the tires, brakes, lights, the cooling system, wiper fluid, battery, and all off the belts and hoses. Before the scheduled trip, the motorists should have the vehicle inspected by a skilled mechanic to ensure that everything is working properly and that there are no repairs that need to be made.
  • Drive defensively. Even the safest, most responsible driver cannot control how other motorists drive. Motorists should always pay close attention to the road, avoid tailgating, maintain a safe driving speed, and always use their signals properly.
  • Use extra caution when driving near large trucks. When driving near a large commercial truck, be aware of their large blind spots. If the motorist cannot see the truck driver in their mirror, the truck driver cannot see the car. Never cut in front of a large truck; this can cause a devastating rear-end accident since trucks require significantly more road space to slow down. In addition, motorists should not tailgate a large truck. If the truck driver brakes suddenly, the following car could crash into the rear of the truck.

What Should I Do if I am in a Car Accident Over Labor Day Weekend?

If a motorist is injured in a car accident over the Labor Day weekend, they may pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. A successful claim will ensure that the injured victim receives financial compensation for the property damage and injuries caused by the accident. When filing a personal injury claim in Georgia, the claim must be filed within two years of the date of the accident. If the accident resulted in a fatality, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the victim’s death. If a claim is filed after the deadline has passed, it will likely be denied and the case dismissed.

What is Comparative Negligence?

Comparative negligence is a legal theory used when more than one party may be partially at fault for causing an accident. If someone files a lawsuit against another driver, they may recover financial damages from the at-fault party. However, the amount of damages will be reduced by the percentage that corresponds to their shared liability. For example, if a motorist is driving 40 miles per hour in a 25 miles per hour zone and is hit by another driver who was texting, the driver who was hit will be eligible for financial compensation. However, since the driver who was hit was exceeding the speed limit at the time of the accident, the jury or an adjuster may determine that the at-fault driver was 80 percent responsible, and the injured motorist was 20 percent responsible. It is important to note that Georgia’s modified comparative negligence rule states that if the injured party is 50 percent or more at fault, they will not be able to recover any damages.

Effingham County Car Accident Lawyers at Kicklighter Law Represent Clients Injured in Labor Day Accidents

If you were seriously injured in a car accident over the Labor Day holiday weekend, do not hesitate to contact our Effingham County car accident lawyers at Kicklighter Law. We will determine who is responsible for the accident. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 912-754-6003 or contact us online. We are located in Springfield, Georgia, and we proudly serve clients throughout Effingham County, Savannah, and the surrounding areas.