Florida saw more than 1,300 crashes on the Friday before Labor Day last year.
The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) is asking drivers to stay safe and sober this Labor Day weekend, which is traditionally one of the most dangerous times of the year to drive.
The Friday just ahead of the weekend has the most crashes of the four-day period between the Friday to Monday of Labor Day, says FLHSMV Executive Director Terry Rhodes.
“As Labor Day approaches, please keep safety at the forefront of your travel plans,” Rhodes said in a statement. “While many of us will take this long weekend to celebrate with family and friends, our FHP Troopers and first responders will be working to respond to and protect our safety,” Rhodes said in a statement.
In 2021, the four-day period of Labor Day weekend saw 4,016 crashes, resulting in 41 fatalities and 171 serious bodily injuries. Of the crashes resulting in fatalities, eight involved alcohol or other drugs. Just that Friday saw 1,343 total crashes, resulting in 12 fatalities and 54 serious bodily injuries.
“Historically in Florida, more crashes occur on the Friday before Labor Day than any other day during the four-day travel period,” Rhodes continued. “No matter how far your destination may be, please remember to buckle up, slow down, and never drive impaired.”
FLHSMV and FHP warn against driving impaired and say to have a designated drive or use ride share to get home safely. On top of general road safety tips, like obeying speed limits and wearing seat belts, they say to get plenty of rest before driving, because drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as impaired driving.
“FHP troopers will be out in force to remove impaired drivers and provide services to motorists who need assistance while traveling,” said FHP Director Col. Gene Spaulding. “No matter how you plan to celebrate this weekend, never drive impaired and always follow the rules of the road. Let’s make this a safe and happy Labor Day for all Floridians and visitors.”