Here in the United States, it’s Labor Day Weekend, the last long weekend of summer. According to AAA, 33 million Americans will travel this weekend, about 85% by car.
If you’ll be one of them, use these driving tips to reach your destination safely:
- Stay calm. Heavy traffic and impatient drivers just don’t mix. Road rage can ruin more than a weekend getaway. About five percent of traffic related deaths are attributed to aggressive driving. That number grows every year.
- Don’t text and drive. Many states, most recently Ohio, have passed bans on texting and driving, for good reason. More than 6,000 people were killed on U.S. roadways in 2010 due to texting and driving. Last weekend, as I traveled home from Alabama, in ten minutes I spotted four people texting and driving, one of them a commercial truck driver. How? The vehicles, including that 18 wheeler, drifted out of the driving lane and then jerked back. Every time! As we drove past (our goal to get beyond the hazard), I peered into the vehicle to watch those drivers focus on their phones.
- Pack wisely. Overloaded and improperly packed cars can cause accidents too. On a recent trip, I watched, shocked, as the soft-sided luggage carrier flew off the top of a minivan. The vehicles behind swerved to miss the flying luggage. Beyond that, an overloaded vehicle handles slower and carries an increased risk of bottoming out. Carry only what’s needed and secure exterior carriers according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Visit a museum. The first weekend of the month, Bank of America offers free admission to more than 150 museums across the country. Visit one near you.
- Hike a trail. Visit a park or nature trail nearby and enjoy the great outdoors.
- Make a splash. Most community pools close after Labor Day. Take advantage of this last weekend of summer and make a splash.
- A special breakfast of yogurt, fresh fruit and “fried banana bread,” homemade banana bread, lightly buttered and fried in a skillet. The outside is crispy and buttery and the inside is warm and gooey. YUM!
- A visit to the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, one of those 150 free museums!
- A picnic lunch at the Duke Gardens (may as well make the most of the drive to Durham!)
- An evening of grilling and “campfire” in the back yard (Eastern NC may be the one place in the country not recovering from drought or hurricanes right now).
Labor Day Weekend means one last blast of summer! What will you do with yours?