Memorial Day Weekend is only days away and will be the unofficial start of summer for many of us. More importantly, it's a time to say thank you to those who sacrificed their lives to protect this great nation.
Unfortunately, due to the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19, this Memorial Day Weekend will seem different than those of previous years. Fewer people will travel and those who congregate will likely maintain a safe distance from one another.
That doesn't mean that roads won't be dangerous. Here's why.
Drunk driving increases during Memorial Day Weekend
ValuePenguin ranked Memorial Day Weekend the 2nd worst holiday period for DUI-related fatalities, with an average of 39.5 deaths per day. The 4th of July ranked No. 1.
Another study conducted by ValuePenguin ranked Memorial Day Weekend the deadliest overall holiday period for driving, with an average of 312 traffic fatalities each year (about 40 percent involving a drunk driver).
Police will likely increase their efforts to keep drunk drivers off the road. Unfortunately, many drunk drivers will not be caught by police.
Drivers don't have to have a BAC of 0.08 percent to endanger others. Even at legal BAC levels of 0.02 and 0.05 percent, alcohol impairment can be a factor in a crash. Alcohol impairment causes more than 10,000 traffic fatalities each year, according to the NHTSA.
Speeding has increased amid COVID-19
Many drivers naturally have the urge to exceed the speed limit. The only thing stopping them, in most cases, is traffic congestion. Due to COVID-19, fewer people are traveling. Some drivers are jumping on the opportunity to travel at dangerous speeds as a result.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, law enforcement officers across the U.S. have seen drivers traveling at speeds greater than 100 mph.
While overall crashes may have dropped, catastrophic crashes have increased during this time. That's because speeders have less control over their cars and have less time and distance to stop.
Speeding kills more than 9,000 people each year in the U.S., according to the NHTSA.
How can I stay safe this Memorial Day Weekend?
If you plan on traveling or meeting friends and family this Memorial Day Weekend here are some ways you can stay safe:
- Avoid traveling late at night (if possible)
- Intervene with friends or family who attempt to drive after drinking
- Summon an Uber or cab if you plan on drinking
- Be on the lookout for other drivers who are behaving erratically, speeding, or failing to stay in their lanes. Keep your distance and/or pull over and let them pass.
- Celebrate within walking distance from your home (if possible)
Should you or a loved one be injured in a crash, don't hesitate to consult with an experienced car accident attorney at the Mike Slocumb Law Firm. Our legal team can launch an investigation into your crash and negotiate with insurance companies for a fair financial settlement to cover medical costs, lost wages, and other damages.
To schedule your free, confidential case evaluation, fill out our contact form online. One of our attorneys will get back to you promptly.