From 6 p.m. this evening to the end of Memorial Day weekend, an estimated 382 people will die in motor vehicle accidents across the country. The National Safety Council released those estimates in an effort to help people understand the need to be cautious and behave responsibly this weekend. Car accidents often spike during holidays, as the number of cars on the road increases. In addition to an increase in total traffic, holidays may increase the number of drivers operating their vehicles under the influence. Whatever the reason, holidays make a good time to focus on safe driving habits.
The NSC first recommends that every driver and passenger use a seat belt, regardless of the length of the trip. In addition, it suggested that drivers avoid all cell phone use, including hands-free calling. Memorial Day weekend also comes in prime storm season in many areas across the nation. Bad weather can increase accidents when drivers feel compelled by circumstances to drive, even when conditions make driving unsafe.
Planning ahead can relieve some of the danger posed by holiday driving. If you are traveling with children, ensure that each child has an age-appropriate safety seat and that you are familiar with how to properly install the seat. Make sure the driver receives plenty of rest. Drowsy driving is a common cause of accidents. If necessary, build in extra time to make sure you are not pushing beyond the boundaries of safe motoring.
Have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend. Drive carefully.
Source: National Safety Council, "National Safety Council Estimates Nearly 400 Fatalities from Crashes this Memorial Day Weekend," 19 May 2014