If you’re planning on traveling this Labor Day weekend, the Alabama Department of Transportation urges motorists to be mindful.
With the yearly extended holiday traffic congestion statewide, the ALDOT cautions drivers to stay alert to decrease vehicle crash injuries and fatalities.
The number of vehicles on Alabama’s interstate is expected to be higher than normal as the Labor Day holiday officially closes the summer travel season and kicks off college football game travel.
In their efforts to provide added safety for travelers, road construction and maintenance workers, ALDOT announced on Wednesday, the Alabama Department of Transportation will have no temporary lane closures on interstates from noon on Friday, Sept. 3 Nov. through Monday, Sept. 6 at 11:59 p.m.
Drivers are advised to consider incorporating various safety tips into their travel plans, including planning for increased traffic by allowing extra time to reach their destination.
Alabama Rest Areas and Welcome Centers will be open to the public. However, ALDOT asks travelers to practice social distancing and follow the state and local agencies’ public health guidelines.
For the safety of law enforcement, emergency responders, tow truck drivers and others, the Alabama Move Over law requires drivers to move over a lane or slow down when there are vehicles with flashing lights on the side of the road.
With roadway improvement projects taking place throughout Alabama, ALDOT stated lowered speed limits may remain in place in those areas due to roadway surface changes or the presence of construction material.
According to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Highway Patrol Division, Monday Brandon F. Barber, 33, of Prattville, was finally injured in a single-vehicle crash after a driver, Dylan Green, 29, of Jemison, failed to yield to the traffic control sign Barber was holding within a construction zone along Alabama 191 in Chilton County Alabama.
Consider the following highway safety tips and statistics as you make travel plans:
• don’t tailgate and maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.
• always wear a seat belt, including passengers in the front and rear seats. The odds greatly favor those wearing a seat belt. Almost 57% of people who died from a vehicle crash in Alabama in 2019 were not wearing a seat belt.
• slow down. Speeding is the leading cause of fatal crashes in Alabama. ALDOT reports last year, approximately 159,102 vehicle crashes occurred, 72.7% involved another vehicle.
• pay attention and stay alert. Drowsy driving contributed to more than 2,600 vehicle crashes in Alabama last year. ALDOT advises taking a break from driving every two hours to help drivers stay alert.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc and cases surge, health and government officials caution people against traveling.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising unvaccinated Americans to stay home this Labor Day weekend with traffic in certain corridors expected to spike between Sept. 2 and Sept. 7 as travelers take advantage of the three-day weekend.
“First and foremost, if you are unvaccinated, we would recommend not traveling,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing Tuesday.
According to the CDC, wearing a mask while traveling is a must and is strongly recommended on public transportation such as airplanes, trains, ships, ferries, subways, taxis and rideshares.
As reported by a recent analysis, across the nation, there were 26,805 COVID-19 deaths, with more deaths reported in the last week of August than in the entire month of July.
Before traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC urges people to consider the following safety tips:
• Is COVID-19 spreading at your destination? The more cases at your destination, the more likely you are to get infected during travel and spread the virus to others when you return.
• Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when in public settings.
• Avoid close contact by staying at least 6 feet apart from anyone who is not from your household.
• Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• When getting gas, use disinfecting wipes on handles and buttons at the gas pumps before you torch them if available.
• After fueling, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. When you reach your destination, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
• The safest option for food stops while traveling is to bring your food. If you can’t, use a drive-thru, take-out, and curbside pick-up options.
Motorists traveling in Alabama may consider downloading the ALGO Traffic app in the Apple Store and on Google Play to access real-time road work, traffic and weather conditions. ALDOT asks motorists to use ALGO Traffic responsibly. Drivers should never text, tweet, or use a mobile device while driving a vehicle.