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National Safety Council estimates 400 roadway deaths this Labor Day weekend



As travelers hit the road for Labor Day, the National Safety Council estimated 398 people may die on U.S. roads over the holiday weekend.

Rob Miller, Wisconsin DOT Spokesperson, encouraged drivers to plan their trip using the 511 traffic website which can show accidents, construction, or delays on routes.

“We want people to just plan ahead, be patient, really watch your speed,” Miller said. “We see way too many crashes that are just caused by people going too fast for conditions. Watch the distractions as well. Turn that cell phone and set it aside so you can focus your full attention on what is happening in front of you.”

Another added factor for Labor Day 2019 is gas prices are set to be the lowest in three years. Gas Buddy predicted a national average of $2.55 a gallon, down almost $.30 from last year. Miller said fuel prices and the overall economy are factors that can encourage more people to travel.

The Wisconsin DOT did ask construction worker partners to open up as many lanes as possible for this weekend’s traffic, but Miller said people still need to be on the lookout for lane restrictions. He also reminded drivers to be mindful of law enforcement and towing companies who will be working.

“When we do have this much travel going on, we want drivers to as well to be aware of our move-over law,” Miller said. “If you see a law-enforcement vehicle or a tow-truck or any kind of emergency responder like that stopped along the road or with lights on, give them some space. Move over a lane if possible if you can’t move over, then slow down.”

Peak travel periods were expected to be Friday and Monday between 12:00 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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