Memorial Day is one of the most traffic-intensive holidays of the year — and one of the most dangerous for motorists.
According to statistics compiled by AAA, nearly 42 million Americans will travel over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. That figure represents an increase of five-percent over previous years and the highest number in more than a dozen years.
This means that this summer’s holiday will be particularly challenging — and potentially dangerous — for motorists and pedestrians. INRIX, a travel analytics firm, forecasts that road delays could be up to three times longer than usual this season, with the worst traffic beginning on May 23rd.
Holidays also bring out a celebratory mood in travelers. Yet this sentiment can also be deadly. During Memorial Day weekend, 2016, there were nearly 500 arrests for DWI in the state of Arizona alone.
Extrapolate that over 50 states, and you begin to get a sense of the scale of the problem posed by intoxicated holiday drivers. The National Safety Council estimates that more than 380 people in the U.S. may die on the roads during the 2019 Memorial Day weekend and thousands will be injured. in previous years alcohol was involved in about 29 percent of these incidents.
How to stay safe
Given the very real dangers posed by clogged and congested roads and intoxicated drivers, it’s vitally important to take steps to ensure your safety. First, if you’re traveling, you may wish to forego car travel in favor of air or train travel. The National Safety Council reports that car travel is by far the most dangerous form of travel over the holiday weekend.
If you do travel in a vehicle, it’s important to follow these basic safety practices:
- Maintain a designated driver at all time if you’re drinking
- Do not use a cell phone or any other items that contribute to distracted driving — something that leads to thousands of road deaths annually
- Always use safety belts and the appropriate child safety equipment
- Allow yourself extra travel time in case of delays — this will lower your incentive to speed or rush to your destination
- Drive defensively and maintain situational awareness
By maintaining safe travel habits, you can lower your risk of being involved in a serious accident. If you are in a such a scenario, however, it’s imperative that you contact legal counsel.
Finding the right representation
Should you or someone you love be injured this Memorial Day weekend, it’s important that you find an experienced attorney who can help you evaluate your legal options.
Because these cases can often be quite complex, it’s important to find a legal advocate with a long track record of handling personal injury cases. Find the right legal partner, and you’ll be in the best possible position to be appropriated compensated for any serious accident-related injuries.