The National Safety Council (NSC) is urging Americans to be alert and drive defensively to help prevent an estimated 398 deaths and 45,300 serious injuries on US roads during this weekend’s Labor Day holiday period.

The estimate is the lowest the Council has issued for the three-day Labor Day holiday period since 2015, mirroring an overall national trend that shows fatalities are down three percent through the first six months of 2019 compared with the same time frame last year.

“Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, and many families will be traveling for those last-minute vacations,” said Lorraine M. Martin, NSC President and CEO.

“We want that last hurrah to be fun, not fatal. When you are on the roads, be alert, drive defensively and keep one another safe.”

Alcohol often is a major factor in fatal crashes during holiday weekends. In 2017 – the most recent year for data – 36 percent of fatal crashes involved an alcohol-impaired driver or motorcycle rider.

The National Safety Council tips for safer Labor Day travel include:

  • Practice defensive driving, buckle up, designate a sober driver or arrange alternative transportation, get plenty of sleep to avoid fatigue, and drive attentively, avoiding distractions
  • Recognize the dangers of drugged driving, including impairment from cannabis and opioids; visit to understand the impact of the nation’s opioid crisis
  • Stay engaged in teens’ driving habits; visit for resources
  • Learn about your vehicle’s safety systems and how to use them; visit for information
  • Fix recalls immediately; visit to ensure your vehicle does not have an open recall