Yearly Reminder: Slow down and buckle up on Georgia’s roads during Labor Day Weekend

August 28, 2023
1 min read

Labor Day weekend is knocking on the door, and while many in Georgia are looking forward to firing up the grill or hitting the beach one last time before saying goodbye to summer, it’s crucial to remember that safety should be on everyone’s checklist.

Last year, Georgia roads saw 472 crashes during the Labor Day travel period, leaving nine people dead and 243 injured, according to Georgia State Patrol. And it’s not just accidents causing heartache—troopers arrested 324 drivers for driving under the influence.

This year, officers will be out in force on interstates and well-traveled local routes starting from 6 p.m. on September 1 until 11:59 p.m. on September 4. They’ll be focusing on impaired drivers, speedsters, those who can’t seem to put down their phones, and people forgetting that seatbelts aren’t just a suggestion.

“Labor Day weekend is an excellent time for families and friends to gather and celebrate the end of summer,” Colonel Christopher Wright, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said. But he also stressed the need for motorists to make safety a priority when traveling.

Before you hit the road for that last-hurrah barbecue in Savannah or the end-of-season dip in Lake Lanier, take a minute to go through some tips that could save you a lot of grief:

  • Stick to the Speed Limit: Speeding eats into the crucial time you might need to avoid an accident.
  • Follow Traffic Laws: Signals and signs aren’t there for decoration. Ignoring them can result in serious or even fatal crashes.
  • Don’t Drive Tipsy or Buzzed: If you plan to indulge, plan not to drive. Designate a sober driver, or better yet, use a rideshare service.
  • Seatbelts, Always: Make sure everyone is buckled up, and if you’ve got kids under eight, make sure they’re in the appropriate car seat or booster. Georgia law isn’t kidding around about this.
  • Keep the Focus on the Road: As of July 1, 2018, the Hands-Free Georgia Act makes it illegal to use hand-held cell phones while driving.
  • Be Courteous: Watch out for cyclists and pedestrians, especially in bustling areas.
  • Stay Alert: Long drives can be draining. Make sure you’re well-rested before you set off.

The Department of Public Safety will keep everyone posted on traffic updates via Twitter throughout the weekend.

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