Whether you are going over the river and through the woods or driving though a major metro area during the height of rush hour, AAA says the Labor Day holiday is one of the most traveled weekends during the summer. Spokesman Mark Peterson offers a few simple tips to make it a safe trip.

Buckle up. AAA states, "Passengers failing to buckle up," continues to be one of the most simple actions that can keep an accident from becoming deadly. Be patient. When you encounter construction or are in an unfamiliar area, follow the rules of the road and be a courteous driver. AAA also stresses, "If you're drowsy, pull off to a safe location and take a nap."

Eliminate distractions. In Minnesota, this is a big switch and some drivers are having trouble setting down their phone while behind the wheel. Law enforcement is watching intently and not being very forgiving during the first few weeks of the hands-free law. I've occasionally seen people reading a book while driving. While it's not the most current technology, it still counts as distracted driving.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates, "impaired driving accounted for just under one-third of all traffic fatalities. While speeding-related fatalities declined in 2017, it still accounted for over one-fourth of all crash fatalities."

Mark Peterson says, "With greater numbers of drivers expected on the roadways, it's crucial for motorists to make safe and responsible decisions when getting behind the wheel."

Plan ahead. Know where you are going and activate you navigation system before you are on the road or leave that to your passengers. Have a phone charger and an emergency roadside kit in your vehicle.

Leave early. Consider driving during off-peak times. AAA predicts Friday afternoon and late Monday afternoon of Labor Day weekend will be the busiest times on the road.

Peterson says, "If drivers follow these simple rules when it comes to traveling during the holiday weekend, we can reduce or even eliminate unnecessary crashes while avoiding injury or death."


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