Labor Day Travel Tips from the Better Business Bureau

September 06, 2012

Chicago, IL – August 28, 2012 – With Labor Day weekend approaching, millions of drivers will begin taking to the road and the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) advises drivers to practice safe driving to avoid potential accidents.

According to an AAA travel survey, it is forecasted that 33 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Labor Day holiday weekend, a 2.9 percent decrease from the 31.2 million people who traveled one year ago.

The National Safety Council has released traffic fatality information for the upcoming Labor Day weekend, estimating across the country 368 traffic fatalities and an additional 19,900 nonfatal disabling injuries will occur.

“We all look forward to celebrating with family and friends this Labor Day weekend, but it’s vital to practice safe, effective travel when going to your special events,” said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Illinois. “By planning ahead and being a conscientious driver, everyone can enjoy a safer weekend, especially while on the road.”

The BBB provides the following safety tips for traveling:

Before You Go:

·         Create a car safety kit. Bad weather can lead to accidents, car troubles, long delays and road closures. Basics for the kit include: a blanket, flashlight with extra batteries, radio, first aid kit, jumper cables, non-perishable foods like granola bars and nuts, bottled water, family medicine and emergency telephone numbers.

·         Take the car in for a checkup. If your car is due for a checkup, take it in before making that long haul. At the very least, check the car’s fluid levels, wipers and tire pressure. Check the condition of your tires and make sure they are properly inflated.

·         Know the weather. Check local websites for traveling information for states you may be traveling through to allow extra time for bad weather.

·         Check your gadgets. Charge your cell phone and make sure your GPS is running properly.

·         Get some rest. Tired drivers are a hazard to themselves, those in their vehicle and often fatal or devastating mistakes can be made to other drivers on the road.

On The Road:

·         Buckle up. Make sure everyone is properly buckled up and that young children are in age appropriate safety seats, and are properly secured.

·         Remember the rules of the road. Don’t tailgate and remember the three-second rule when following vehicles. Don’t rely just on mirrors when changing lanes; turn around to check your blind spot. Obey all traffic signals.

·         Watch your speed. Law enforcement will be out to ensure everyone is obeying all speed limits and laws.

·         Don’t drink and drive.

·         Don’t text and drive. When behind the wheel, pull over if you have to do anything that would take your full concentration off of driving.

·         Keep an eye out for emergency vehicles. When you see an emergency vehicle’s lights flashing, slow down and pull over. If you want to help, it would be best to call 911 and report the accident. 

·         Use caution. Drive defensively and exercise caution, especially during inclement weather.

·         Keep the BBB with you on the road. The BBB has a free app for iPhones on iTunes. Look for “bbbsearch” to receive this free service in the App Store. For those who do not have this app, visit

Get The Most From Your Gas:

  • Monitor your speed. Stay within posted speed limits - gas mileage decreases at speeds above 60 miles per hour.
  • Don’t frequently start and stop. Improve your mileage up to 5% by avoiding quick starts and stops.
  • Avoid unnecessary idling. Turn off the engine if you anticipate a wait.
  • Make the most of highway time. Use overdrive gears or cruise control when appropriate to improve highway fuel economy.
  • Don’t carry extra weight. Remove items from your trunk; an extra 100 pounds can reduce fuel economy by up to 2%. Remove items on top of your car; wind resistance reduces fuel economy by 5%.

For more information on keeping yourself and others safe on the road, visit



As a private, non-profit organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau is to promote an ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims, online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs develop and issue reviews on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encourage people to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.