After another long weekend has come and gone, we are glad to hear of no fatal car accidents on Newfoundland and Labrador roads and highways this Labour Day. Police take holiday weekends seriously, often using them as an opportunity to implement checkpoints and patrol by helicopter throughout Newfoundland and Labrador to enforce proper driving behaviour, and in turn, avoid accident and injury.
A recent Canadian study published in the Accident Analysis and Prevention Journal found that there is an 18 per cent higher rate of fatal collisions on long weekends. While many would assume this is due to an increase in impaired driving over the holidays, five years of Alberta provincial crash data show that more accidents involve drunk driving and speeding on regular weekends than holiday weekends. Co-author of the study Sabreena Anowar suggested this could be because people often drive with family on holidays, while they are more often driving alone on regular weekends.
The study also found that the use of seat belts is lower on long weekends and recommended police focus on enforcing this particular element of the Highway Traffic Act at these times. A seat belt is one of the most important safety measures in a vehicle and all drivers and passengers should be buckling up every time they get in. In the event of a crash, a seat belt can save your life and prevent injury from being thrown out of the vehicle.