Stay safe on the road this Labor Day weekend - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Stay safe on the road this Labor Day weekend

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

This Labor Day weekend, more law enforcement officers will be patrolling on the road to stop reckless drivers, and keep the road safe.

The National Safety Council is estimating about 22 people will die from car accidents over this holiday weekend in Georgia alone. They also projected 405 people will die from car accidents in the time starting at 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31 and ending at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Sept 1. About 40,500 people will need to seek medical treatment from motor vehicle collisions.

"This is a weekend of high risk driving activity," said Al Baber with Baber's Driving School. "Wear your seat belt. National study says 148 people can survive the crash they are going to be involved in this weekend if they simply wear their seat belts. Also, don't drink and drive. Make sure to have a designated driver if you plan on drinking this weekend."

Barber also said it's important for drivers to create a no-distraction plan with other passengers in the cars to stay safe.

"Keep your eye out for drunk or distracted drivers," Barber said. "Leave yourself more following distance, make sure the passengers in your car are also being extra set of eyes and ears, don't text and drive, and get plenty of sleep. Follow the speed limit, and do not rush."

Major Randy Robertson with the Muscogee County Sheriff's Office also said drivers should not be texting while driving.

"A few years ago, DUI stood as the number one cause of car accidents," Robertson said. "Now, texting and driving is one of the biggest causes to motor vehicle collisions. If officers see a driver texting while driving, that driver can be stopped and cited in Georgia. I think texting and driving is a problem throughout our country and the Columbus and Phenix City areas aren't exempt from this problem."

Robertson also said all drivers need to be extra careful on the road this weekend.

"When you get in your vehicle, pick your radio station to listen to before you leave the house," Robertson said. "Do not use your iphones, ipads and other smart devices when you are driving. Put them out of your way, and just focus on getting from point A to point B."

Ronald Henderson said he will mostly drive during the day to stay safe on the road this holiday weekend.

"I think you see more drunk and reckless drivers at night time," Henderson said. "I will be driving to LaGrange with my family to spend this holiday weekend, so I will be driving in the day time to have a better view of the road. It's important to watch other drivers around you, and stay focused."

Copyright 2014 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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