Memorial Day weekend is typically considered the start of summer, where people all over the U.S. will be celebrating with BBQs, parties, and plenty of alcohol. It has been called “The 100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers. That would be the stretch between Memorial Day and Labor Day and it can be extremely dangerous for drivers of all ages.
With gas prices dropping and the economy not in total shambles, more people are expected to be traveling during Memorial Day this year than in the past. According to AAA, a predicted 38 million people will be leaving their homes to enjoy the long weekend. That’s the highest number of travelers since 2005.
Long Weekend Equals Bad Traffic
Not only can you count on traffic spiking and extended travel times, but alcohol related accidents will be on the increase as well. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that an average of 400 people are killed in traffic accidents and similar incidents during Memorial Day weekend. Unfortunately, this weekend will bring with it a 13% increase in traffic fatalities when compared to an average weekend.
With the expected number of travelers that will be on the move this weekend soaring, so does the risk of getting in a car accident. The National Safety Council estimates that there could be as many as 439 deaths and over 50,000 injuries caused by motor vehicle collisions this Memorial Day weekend.
This is not just a catchy slogan to throw around. There will be families with children on our roads and highways, and being drunk behind the wheel is not acceptable behavior. According to the NHTSA, 44% of traffic fatalities over Memorial Day weekend involve alcohol. That’s a monstrous number. Teen drinking can also play another major factor in the number of drunk driving accidents. With law enforcement out in full force, running DUI checkpoints and numerous stops for suspected drinking and driving, be assured that the number of alcohol arrests will be on the rise this weekend as well.
You do not have to refrain from drinking this weekend all together—you just want to make sure you are doing so responsibly.
Four Steps to Remember This Weekend:
Plan ahead – Make sure you have a ride home or have a place to crash ahead of time. Don’t be caught at the end of a party looking for a ride or somewhere to stay.
Cut People Off- If you see that one of your guests are way over the limit then simply cut them off for a while. Hide their keys, do anything to keep them out of a car and behind the wheel.
Keep the Burgers and Dogs Coming – Make sure that everyone has some food to put in their bellies to soak up some of those cold ones they will be putting away. A hot afternoon, an empty stomach, and too much alcohol can be a deadly combination.
Report drunk drivers – This one may be hard for you to do, but remember that there are lives at risk. If you’re on the road, leaving a restaurant or bar, or any other place and notice a drunk driver, report it.
Have Fun , Be Safe
We here at Jones Brown PLLC want to extend to you and yours, a Happy Memorial Day Weekend. Enjoy your friends, neighbors, and families, but please be careful and be safe.