Some Safety Tips for Labor Day
Labor Day marks the end of the summer vacation season and is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. It is also a time for boating and backyard barbeques. While it is a weekend to celebrate summer’s last blast, it also is a dangerous time on the roads.
Let’s go over some Labor Day safety tips that will help make the holiday weekend enjoyable for everyone.
- Don’t mix drinking and driving – The National Safety Council reports that about 400 people die on the nation’s roads on Labor Day weekend in motor vehicle crashes. Many of these collisions are the result of drunken and distracted driving. Safewise says that alcohol and parties go hand-in-hand and drinking affects reaction time, coordination and decision-making. If you plan on partying, have a designated driver at the ready.
- Hit the road early – If you’re planning a long drive, USA Today suggests starting your Labor Day weekend trip early. Leave before the Friday afternoon rush hour or early Saturday morning. On your return home on Labor Day, try getting on the highway by 4 p.m. or after 10 p.m. Plan your route and consider alternate routes. Needless to say, make sure you and your passengers are buckled up.
- Check your vehicle – There is nothing more stressful than breaking down on the road. Make sure your vehicle is ready for the trip. Check the tires for wear and proper inflation. All fluid levels including the windshield washer reservoir should be checked and topped off if needed. If your car hasn’t been serviced for a while, take it into the shop and have a technician give it the once over.
- Pack an emergency kit – In addition to packing a picnic lunch, USA Today recommends packing an emergency kit for your trip. This should include jumper cables, a flashlight, duct tape, a tire gauge, tools such as screwdrivers and wrenches. Also, take a first aid kit, bottled water and energy bars.
- Take a break – Make sure you are well rested before heading off on a long road trip. Make frequent stops during your drive at rest areas and share driving duties if possible. Stay hydrated by drinking water and have a snack. Dehydration and not eating enough can cause fatigue and dizziness.
- Boating safety – Highways aren’t the only busy areas on Labor Day weekend, so are the waterways. The weekend is usually the last hurrah for boaters. Before hauling up the anchor, check the boat’s condition and mechanical components. Make sure all safety equipment including flotation devices are in proper shape. Let someone on land know you are heading out on the water and the time of your return.
- Food safety – There’s nothing like a picnic or barbeque to celebrate the Labor Day weekend. Avoid food-borne illnesses by keeping such items as meats, coleslaw, potato and chicken salad cool and out of the sun. Keep these and sandwiches in a cooler. Safewise recommends washing your hands after handling raw meat and drying them on a paper towel. Keep meats refrigerated right up to the time they go on the grill.
Following these Labor Day safety tips will make the end of your summer an enjoyable one.
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