Memorial Day Weekend is a favorite holiday for Americans coast-to-coast. It serves as an opportunity to remember the brave men and women who have stood for our country, while also connecting with family and friends not often seen. However, there is a serious downside to Memorial Day Weekend: it is often recorded as the most dangerous weekend to drive in America due to a significant spike in auto accidents and motorcycle crashes. According to aggregate information collected by various safety groups — such as the American Safety Council, the National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR), the National Safety Council (NSC), the American Automobile Association (AAA), and many more — motor vehicle fatalities rise by 30% on average on Memorial Day Weekend when compared to the previous weekend. The number of car accidents that cause serious injuries also increases by a similar margin. Why is Memorial Day Weekend so dangerous?
- More drivers: AAA approximates that nearly 42 million people will drive to see friends and family, or to attend an event, on Memorial Day Weekend. The increase in traffic means there are more drivers on the road than normal in most towns, which naturally increases the chance of getting into an accident. To make things worse, Memorial Day Weekend drivers tend to be in a hurry and disregard traffic rules. In fact, the NCSR reported that a driver runs a red light somewhere in America once every 1.2 seconds on Memorial Day Weekend.
- Unfamiliar drivers: Many of the drivers hitting the roads and highways on Memorial Day Weekend are traveling to parts unknown to see friends and family, or to take a quick vacation somewhere new. Drivers who are unfamiliar with their surroundings tend to either drive more recklessly or overcautiously, which can also cause serious accidents.
- Drunk drivers: According to NSC data, drunk driving accidents over Memorial Day Weekend increase predictably, with an 8% rise in drunk driving accident fatalities. Holiday celebrants almost always reach for a bottle of alcohol to raise their spirits. Unfortunately, many of them lose track of their own sobriety and wrongfully try to drive home or back to their hotel afterwards.
How to Avoid a Memorial Day Weekend Accident
To keep the roadways of America safe for everyone over Memorial Day Weekend, everyone needs to think about how they can drive safely and responsibly. Before you head out to go see your friends and family for a holiday celebration, be sure to review our safety tips and keep them in mind. Fast safety tips if you drive this Memorial Day Weekend:
- Expect traffic: If there is one thing you can guarantee on Memorial Day Weekend, it is that traffic will increase and it will take you longer than usual to get from point A to point B. Plan your route before you drive and leave earlier than usual so you don’t feel rushed.
- Use all necessary safety gear: You need to always use all safety gear and features of your vehicle. In a car, wear your seatbelt and insist that all passengers do, too. If you are a motorcycle rider, don’t go anywhere without your helmet and protective clothing, like a durable jacket and jeans.
- Retire early: Although motor vehicle accidents rise all throughout Memorial Day Weekend, there is a clear majority of crashes later at night when people try to head home after a party. To avoid late night driving where you are most likely to encounter a drunk driver, plan to retire to your hotel room or home early.
Who Can Help After a Memorial Day Weekend Crash?
No matter how safe you drive or ride this Memorial Day Weekend, you can’t make other motorists do the same. If you get blindsided and hit by a negligent driver in Southern California, then you can come to Woods Williford Personal Injury Attorneys for legal guidance and moral support. Our team of Irvine Memorial Day Weekend accident lawyers are ready to stand up for your rights and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf while you focus on rest and recuperation. With more than 25 years of combined legal experience, we have the legal knowledge and know-how to successfully take on any opposition for you. Call (949) 558-2245 to schedule a free consultation with our team.