Memorial Day weekend is here and this marks the unofficial start of summer! The three-day weekend is generally filled with family activities, parties with friends and, of course, road trips! Lots of these events involve alcohol, and with a high number of drivers on the roadway this weekend, getting behind the wheel after drinking can have devastating consequences.
The risk of being involved in a car accident increases significantly around holidays. The National Safety Council reports that there has been an 11.5 percent average increase in fatal traffic accidents during the Memorial Day weekend over the past six years, compared to other summer weekends. According to the NSC, there could be more than 400 car accident fatalities and another 43,500 injuries that require medical attention this weekend. In 2010, there were 397 deaths over Memorial Day weekend and 40 percent were alcohol-related.
If you keep a few simple safety tips in mind, you can avoid injuries, and keep you and your family safe this Memorial Day weekend:
- Refrain from using your cell phone to talk or text while driving.
- Always buckle up, regardless of how far or short your trip is! Make sure all backseat passengers are buckled up, too.
- Obey posted speed limits, and don’t rush to get to your destination.
- Do not drive while distracted or drowsy. Drowsy driving can actually be just as dangerous as drunk driving.
- If you plan on drinking, have a plan on how to get home safe. Remember, even a small amount of alcohol can impair your judgment and affect your reaction time.