Labor Day 2013 – Safety Tips for Michigan Residents

Labor Day should be a holiday filled with fun and family; unfortunately, every year too many people are seriously injured or lose their lives in boating and car accidents. Many families choose to spend the weekend at the lake camping; for school children, it is the last long weekend before the Thanksgiving holiday.

Whether you are camping, boating, grilling outdoors for friends and family, or just taking it easy, make it fun and safe by following these tips:

Remember that police are out in full force checking for use of safety belts, and impaired drivers. Through Labor Day, 155 local police departments, Michigan State Police, and local sheriff’s offices will be participating in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. Not only will law enforcement officials be checking for drunk drivers, they will also enforce safety belt laws. As Michigan criminal defense attorneys, we know the consequences of driving drunk – and the costs to your reputation and career far outweigh monetary costs, which can be thousands. If you’re out and about having a good time and without a designated driver, call a cab. In 2012, eight people in the state of Michigan lost their lives in car crashes; half of those were alcohol-related.

Avoid texting or talking on cell phones while driving. Distracted driving is thought to be as dangerous or perhaps even more so than drunk driving. If you have to communicate via text or talking, pull over. Statistics indicate that drivers who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in a car accident.

Plan to enjoy Michigan’s lakes over the Labor Day weekend? Practice safe boating. Always wear a life jacket, and be familiar with the lake you will be boating on. Knowing where stump beds, sandbars, and other hazards are located can prevent an accident.

While it’s important for the driver of the boat to pay close attention, it’s a good idea to have a lookout as well. Statistics provided by the U.S. Coast Guard indicate that improper lookout and operator attention are leading factors in accidents involving boats.

When someone is in the water near the boat after diving, skiing, or other activities, shut the engine off. Avoid overloading your boat, and most importantly, DON’T DRINK while boating. Drinking and boating don’t mix; the number one factor that contributes to boating accidents is consuming alcohol, as it impairs your physical and mental abilities, as well as your judgment.

Labor Day is one of the most anticipated holidays of the year, a chance to relax and enjoy time with family and friends. Make yours fun AND safe by keeping these tips in mind!

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