Memorial Day: the unofficial start of summer. The beginning of warm sunshine, the perpetual scent of hotdogs and burgers on the grill, all-day pool parties, and neighborhoods filled with happy kids laughing and playing outside. As much goodness as Memorial Day brings, however, it also brings its fair share of danger and risk. In fact, Memorial Day is one of the deadliest days to be on the road and hundreds of people will likely die this year while driving on this holiday.
In order to increase your chances of staying safe this holiday, it’s important to understand why you are put at risk when you get behind the wheel. Here, we take a look at the top reasons why you could be injured—or worse—this Memorial Day.
Travel Is At an All-Time High
Holidays always make the roads a bit more crowded, but Memorial Day is known for being one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. Although drivers aren’t typically traveling out-of-state to see family and friends like they do on Christmas and Thanksgiving, they are hitting the road to attend cookouts, parades, and other holiday festivities all throughout the long weekend.
In fact, according to ABC News and AAA, about 30 million drivers get behind the wheel on Memorial Day weekend, potentially making all of the roads in your area more crowded and putting you at risk for getting involved in an accident. Because of all the extra traffic, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warns that the holiday weekend could become deadly. In fact, it estimates that nearly 400 people will die and over 40,000 will become injured because of the increased traffic.
Driving defensively is the best way to increase your chances of avoiding a Memorial Day car accident in Austin. The best ways to stay safe this Memorial Day weekend include:
- Taking your time. Not giving yourself enough time to get to your destination can lead to added stress and increased danger. Rushing to get somewhere when you’re running late can cause you to speed, take unnecessary chances, and negatively affect your mood, which can lead to dangerous driving. Instead, slow down, take your time, and make smart decisions. Being on time isn’t worth the risk of getting injured, or worse.
- Keeping your distance. Tailgating during Memorial Day is particularly dangerous because of the increased amounts of traffic. The person in front of you may have to brake suddenly because of the extra amount of vehicles on the road, which may create a ripple effect and leave you with a damaged car and injuries. Leave plenty of space between you and other vehicles and you may avoid such a fender bender.
Memorial Day and drunk driving seem to go hand-in-hand. Just like on New Year’s Eve, alcohol is often available at Memorial Day cookouts, causing many drivers to get behind the wheel after they’ve had a few too many. Driving while intoxicated not only leads to trouble with the law, it can lead to injury and death. In fact, about 44 percent of all traffic accident deaths that occur during the Memorial Day holiday are alcohol-related.
To add to the situation, millions of drivers travel at least 50 miles away from their homes during the weekend. The combination of busy roads and drunk drivers can cause dangerous and devastating accidents to occur.
Although you can’t prevent others from driving while drinking, you can stop yourself from indulging and then driving. Doing so can not only keep you safe, but those in your vehicle and around you safe, as well.
Were You the Victim of a Drunk Driving Accident in Austin?
If you were hit by a drunk driver Memorial Day weekend or any other time, the attorneys of the Wayne Wright law firm may be able to help. Contact us today by calling 800-237-3334 and talk to an attorney about how we may be able to help you with your situation.