Houston residents love a good time, and there’s lots of fun to be had over the upcoming Labor Day weekend. It’s traditionally a time to gather with friends and family to honor the contributions of American workers and give them a day off.

However, many view Labor Day as the last gasp of summer and head out onto the highways to pack as much fun in as possible over the three-day holiday. Millions of motorists and passengers will clog the roads this Labor Day weekend, as it remains one of the year’s busiest periods for traveling.

It is estimated by the National Safety Council (NSC) that annually over the three-day period there will be hundreds of deaths in auto accidents and nearly 20,000 disabling injuries.

The NSC encourages all passengers and motorists to wear their seatbelts. It’s been proven that seatbelt usage decreases the likelihood of injury by as much as 45 percent.

To keep drivers and passengers safer, the American Trucking Association (ATA) offers safety and navigational tips for drivers, including:

  • Planning ahead. Mapping your route ahead of time allows you to familiarize yourself with exit numbers and names. Passengers can assist with navigation, especially in the case of detours.
  • Prepare your vehicle. Get your oil changed, your tires filled with air and your fluid levels topped off. Regular maintenance of your vehicle is a good way to prevent many problems that otherwise might leave your family stranded on the side of the road.
  • Leave room for large trucks. Cutting in front of big rigs endangers everyone with whom you share the road and puts you and your family at significant risk.
  • Allow extra time. Remember, this is one of the busiest driving holidays of the year. There’s a good chance you’ll wind up stuck in a traffic jam, so make sure you have enough time to arrive safely at your destination.

If you wind up injured in an accident with another motorist, the steps you take immediately following the collision can help determine the success of any claims for damages that you may file.