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(CNN) - What's the best of a three-day weekend? The parties, relaxation, the brief suspension of time and above all, of responsibilities. Labor Day weekend in the United States has everything in droves.
But like any holiday, with more people outside work, on the road and in the water, there is an additional risk of injury or even death.
So we give you some recommendations from the experts on how you can stay safe on Labor Day. After all, it's your day off.
- READ: Hurricane Dorian hurts Labor Day trips to Florida: what you need to know
Please do not drink if you are going to drive
There is some good news: car deaths during Labor Day weekend in the United States have declined significantly in the last 20 years, from 490 in 1996 to around 345 in 2017, according to the National Security Council.
The bad news: 345 remains a considerably high number of deaths for just one weekend in the United States.
At least 36% of Labor Day deaths involved a driver who had been drinking, says the Council, so be responsible and if you're traveling stay sober. And if you are sober, remember to be very careful with reckless drivers.
The National Security Council, a nonprofit public service organization, predicts that around 400 people could die in traffic accidents this weekend. Last year's figures were lower than expected, so officials expect a similar decline this year.
Do not drink and drive a boat either
When it comes to drinking and driving a boat, the same rules apply: just don't do it. It is illegal to operate a boat while intoxicated with alcohol, and you can even be arrested for doing so.
If you definitely decide that you want to drink liquor in open water, the Sea Tow Foundation for Boat Safety and Education recommends designating a sober driver who refrains from drinking to safely operate the boat, whom you will thank for being a responsible friend.
Whether you're partying on a boat or on a yacht, the US Coast Guard requires boat owners to provide enough life jackets for all the people on board. And remember: for the “save lives” part to work, the vests must be on.
Choose a lifejacket with a snug fit that doesn't slip past your ears or chin and pay attention to state laws that require children to wear lifejackets.
- READ: Dorian's arrival coincides with the moment when the strongest hurricane that ever touched the Atlantic
If there is lightning, spend the day indoors
If the forecasts are correct, it may rain on the weekend if you are on the east coast. If there are rays, spend these festivities indoors.
The chances of being struck by lightning in a given year are one in 1.22 million, but the odds are much greater for your home. Approximately 1 in 200 homes are struck every year by lightning, according to the National Lightning Safety Institute. If this happens, do not touch or disconnect the electrical equipment plugged into the wall, says the National Weather Service.
- Climate change increases the likelihood of being struck by lightning (2014)
If you hear thunder, make sure the storm is far enough before canceling the pool party. Count the number of seconds that pass between a lightning bolt and the sound of thunder, divide it by 5 and you will know how far the beam is. If 15 seconds pass, it is 5 miles (about 8 kilometers) away. If 1 second passes, it is probably very close to you, even in your backyard. This is an official advice of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), not just a trick you learned in school, so you can follow it safely.
Nothing safe and use sunscreen
Even if it's an Olympic swimmer, don't swim alone. The Red Cross advises swimmers to only venture into the water when there is a lifeguard on land.
Beware of hangover currents. Water channels that move quickly appear along all the coasts of the United States, including the coasts of the Great Lakes, says NOAA. Lifeguards often display warning flags on the beaches to alert swimmers if there are dangerous conditions, so if you see one, stay on the coast.
If you get caught in a rip current - or return stream - nothing with it, not against it. People who fight the tide often end up fatigued, which increases their risk of drowning, says NOAA.
Also, use an ecological sunscreen that will save your skin and protect you from creatures in the water. Better yet, wear light clothes, hats and sunglasses that protect your skin from the sun; Doctors say they offer stronger protection than sunscreen.