The summer months are nearly gone, with only one holiday left to celebrate before it's time to switch into fall mode — Labor Day.
Whether you celebrate Labor Day weekend with a road trip or time on a local waterway, here are some safety tips to make sure those celebrating the holiday remain unharmed.
The Boat Owners Association of the United States calls Labor Day weekend an "end-of-summer boating ritual" for those who like to take craft out on the water.
“Fourth of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day are the 1-2-3 peak boating weekends of the year in terms of the volume of requests from boaters needing towing assistance services,” said BoatUS Vice President of Towing Services John Condon. “... However, social distancing guidelines from COVID-19 and the subsequent increase in boat sales already has led our fleet to respond to an average of 20% more calls than last summer. This Labor Day holiday, all bets are off.”
Ted Sensenbrenner, the boating safety and clean water director for the BoatUS Foundation, warns boat owners that complacency can set in after having a few safe holiday weekends already this year. He warns boat owners not to let their guard down just yet.
Sensenbrenner offers the following boating safety tips:
• Know where your flares are;
• Make sure life jackets in good, working order;
• Keep throwable personal flotation devices within easy reach of the helm;
• Make sure navigation lights are functioning; and
• Make sure trailer safety chains and brake lights are in working order.
Visit BoatUS.org for more safety tips and for a free online boater's safety course.
In order to help accommodate additional traffic during the holiday weekend, the Alabama Department of Transportation will have no temporary lane closures from noon Friday through midnight Monday on Alabama interstates.
ALDOT encourages travelers to practice social distancing and follow state and local health guidelines when visiting rest areas or welcome centers. The agency also released two major safety tips for travelers: wear your seat belt, and don't drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“People are seven times more likely to die in a crash when the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as shown in ALDOT crash reports. Designating a sober driver before drinking is key to preventing these deadly crashes,” ALDOT said in a release.
Furthermore, the latest stats from Drive Safe Alabama show almost 60% of those who die in a crash on a state highway were not wearing a seat belt, ALDOT reports.
For more driving safety tips, visit the Drive Safe Alabama page on Facebook. Motorists can find traffic and road information at www.ALGOtraffic.com or by downloading the ALGO traffic app.