IMAGINE 400 PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DIE THIS HOLIDAY WEEKEND, AND THAT THE MINIMUM NUMBER, SO HOW DID THE EXPERTS COME UPON THIS HORRID NUMBER AND WHAT ABOUT THE FAMILIES! That is 400 American Family persons who will NOT see Monday Morning with smile!
With the Labor Day weekend approaching, a lot of people are going to be on the roads traveling to see family and friends, and to take one last summer trip. Unfortunately, the increased number of people on the roads can also mean an increased risk of accidents. Labor Day BBQs and other celebrations involving alcohol also mean more drunk drivers on the road. Complacency is killing us. Why are we so complacent? If two airplanes crashed every week, nobody would get on an airplane. But we accept it for fatalities on our roadways,”
Statistics show Labor Day weekend is particularly dangerous for drivers
Labor Day is the fourth most dangerous holiday in the United States for fatalities involving vehicles. More than 34 million people will travel at least 50 miles each during the Labor Day weekend, and during the Friday evening through midnight on Monday holiday period, nearly 400 people will lose their lives because of a traffic accident.
If the National Safety Council’s dire prediction is correct, this Labor Day weekend will be the deadliest since 2008. More than 19,000 people have been killed on U.S. roads since January. That’s up 9 percent as compared with the first half of 2015 and up 18 percent from just two years ago.
Method and results The objective is to estimate the number of deaths that will occur in traffic crashes during the Labor Day holiday period based on data available before the holiday. The estimate developed here includes all traffic deaths from crashes that occur during the holiday period. The procedure involves three steps. First, historical data are used to determine the average fraction holiday fatalities are of total deaths for the month containing the holiday. Second, total traffic deaths for September 2016 are estimated using a time series forecasting model. Third, the projected total for the month is multiplied by the fraction to obtain the holiday estimate.
Holiday as percent of month. Total September deaths are the estimates published in Injury Facts two years after the year of the estimate (e.g., the September 2014 estimate that was published in the 2016 edition of Injury Facts). This figure is used, rather than a revised estimate or the National Center for Health Statistics final count, because it closely approximates the level of accuracy that the time series estimate will give for total monthly deaths in the current year. Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data were used to obtain deaths during the holiday periods.
A time series model was developed to forecast an estimate of total traffic deaths for September 2016. An Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) model was constructed based on 48 months of traffic deaths recorded from July 2012 through June 2016. An ARIMA model was chosen because of the seasonal variations in traffic deaths. The model was developed using the SPSS/PC+ Version 6.1 statistical computer package. The model forecasts total traffic fatalities for September 2016 to be 3,641. Holiday estimate. Multiplying the projected total fatalities for September 2016 by the fraction obtained in the first step gives an estimate of 438 traffic fatalities from crashes during the holiday period. Confidence interval There is uncertainty associated with any estimate.
The 90% confidence interval for the estimate of total September deaths is 3,333 to 3,976. If we assume that the fraction of September deaths that occur during the Labor Day period is normally distributed, then the 90% confidence interval for that fraction is 11.64% to 12.40%. Combining these two gives the confidence interval for the Labor Day period estimate: 388 to 493 traffic deaths
Fortunately, you don’t have to become a statistic just because you want to get out and do something on Labor Day weekend. Instead, you can reduce your risk by staying as safe as possible behind the wheel.
The key to this is defensive driving. Make sure your car is working properly, obey all traffic laws and time your outings so you are not on the roads late at night. Make sure you’re well-rested, and don’t do things behind the wheel that would distract you such as texting, talking on the phone, eating or drinking.
It’s a good idea to watch other drivers, as well. Leave yourself plenty of following distance, move away from cars that are swerving or driving erratically and don’t engage with drivers who are in a hurry or driving aggressively. It’s best to let them pass you and go on their way.