National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs
WASHINGTON, D.C. - With the nation about to celebrate its last major holiday of the summer, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Mark V. Rosenker reminded everyone that "safety should be the watchword this Labor Day weekend.
"Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest periods of time for highway travel. Last year, deaths on our roadways rose to their highest level in 15 years. It is imperative that we all observe posted speed limits, buckle up everyone in the car, and never mix alcohol with motor vehicle operation."
Highway transportation accounts for more than 90 percent of all transportation fatalities in the United States. The NTSB has long advocated a series of safety improvements for highway travel, some of which have become law nationally, including mandatory seat belt laws (in every State except New Hampshire), age-21 drinking laws and child restraints.
Other initiatives still awaiting full enactment in the States, which are on the Board's Most Wanted list of safety improvements, include graduated drivers licenses, laws governing persistent drunk drivers, primary seat belt laws and booster seats for children 4 to 8 years old. These are among Most Wanted issues that will be discussed at the Board's public meeting next Wednesday, September 6.
Chairman Rosenker also reminded boaters to wear personal flotation devices. An average of 714 boaters die each year; 508 of those are by drowning. The U.S. Coast Guard estimates that about 84 percent of those drowning victims would still be alive if they had worn PFDs.
NTSB Office of Public Affairs: (202) 314-6100
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.