Travel Safe This Memorial Day Weekend
Memorial Day weekend is a time for honoring those men and women who died fighting for our country. It is also when more people travel to celebrate with friends and family. Unfortunately, the weekend has also become one where more people die in traffic collisions compared to other holidays. According to the American Automobile Association, 39.3 million people will be moving over the weekend, with nearly 35 million driving to their destinations. This increased traffic is responsible for the uptick in motor vehicle deaths. With more people on the road, the need for caution is more significant than ever. Let’s look at the statistics for traffic deaths on Memorial Day weekend and what can be done to lessen the risk.
Statistics for Memorial Day Weekend
The National Safety Council predicts that 380 or more individuals could die from traffic accidents on Memorial Day weekend, which runs from May 24 through May 27. Traffic congestion increases because it is a traditional time for people to travel. Some will be headed to the beach, while others will go to barbecues with friends or take the time to enjoy a short vacation. The NSC estimates that non-fatal injuries around the country during this extended weekend will be around 43,300.
The Major Causes of Memorial Day Weekend Accidents
In 2017, 29 percent of all traffic accidents involved drunk drivers. The year before, 36 percent of all traffic fatalities over the Memorial Day weekend involved a drunk driver. Other negligent actions contributing to holiday accidents include running red lights and speeding.
How to Stay Safe
Other than avoiding alcohol, there are many other precautions you can take to enjoy your holiday safely:
- Avoid distracted driving: You will likely travel with your family or friends to an outdoor activity or a private party. The driver needs to remain focused on the road and not on everything going on around them. Distracted driving accounts for numerous accidents due to different activities, such as:
- Playing with the radio
- Checking directions on the GPS or on a cell phone
- Talking on the phone or to other occupants in the vehicle
- Gawking at an accident or police stopped on the side of the road
- Avoid fatigued driving: Many of us will party without resting appropriately during this three-day weekend. Being tired when driving is a significant cause of accidents on Memorial Day weekend. While saying no to all the activities may be difficult, you still need to sleep. Rest up before driving and arrive home safely.
- Have a designated driver: It is essential to pick a designated driver when going to and from activities. It does not necessarily have to be the same person each time. Having someone who refrains from drinking when you take to the road keeps everyone safe. If you are traveling alone and had a few drinks, call Uber or Lyft rather than getting behind the wheel.
- Wear restraints: Seat belt use saves lives. Make sure that everyone in the vehicle puts their seat belt on. Without it, a driver or passenger can be ejected from the car, which leads to fatal accidents.
- Watch out for other drivers: You may be driving safely, but that does not mean everyone else is. Look for other drivers changing lanes erratically or speeding. Stay as far away from them as you can.
- Avoid congested roads: We know roads are busier during specific day hours. Choose your driving time wisely to avoid busy periods.
- Never tailgate: When roads are crowded, tailgating is a surefire prescription for disaster. Drive at a distance from the car in front. This should give you enough time to stop.
Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento car accident lawyer. No one wants to be injured over a holiday weekend meant to enjoy time with friends and family. However, accidents happen when they aren’t expected. If you or a loved one is injured, call me at (916) 921-6400 for free and friendly advice. My toll-free number is (800) 404-5400 for those living elsewhere in Northern California. I also have an online contact form.
I’m a member of the Million Dollar Forum. It represents trial lawyers who have won over one million dollars for a client. In addition, I belong to the National Association of Distinguished Counsel, which recognizes lawyers dedicated to a high level of excellence.
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In my 37-year career as an injury lawyer, I’ve helped many Sacramento residents obtain the compensation they require and deserve. Some areas I represent cases in include many kinds of traffic accidents, brain injuries, and wrongful deaths.
Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/photos/memorial-day-holiday-american-flag-3432665/
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