Memorial Day is eagerly anticipated as a harbinger of summer, celebration, and vacation. As the nation prepares to remember our servicemen and women while celebrating freedom and American values, attention must be given to the statistics surrounding this holiday. Memorial Day is known for many peculiar statistics. For example, this weekend holiday typically launches “peak hot dog season,” beginning on Memorial Day all the way through Labor Day, in which Americans collectively consume approximately 7 billion hot dogs. Hungry for more statistics? From May 26 to 30, it is estimated that at least 38 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from their home to enjoy the long weekend. While some of these statistics seem lighthearted, the increased national travel combined with the abundance of backyard barbecues and parties can lead to more sobering statistics.
Traffic Accidents & Top Memorial Day Destinations
As you make your plans this Memorial Day weekend, keep in mind that there will be an increase in vehicles on the road. Due to low gas prices, it is anticipated that 2016 will see the highest amount of Memorial Day weekend travel since 2005. In addition, a significant percentage of these cars, trucks, or commercial vehicles will be manned by drunk drivers headed home from or out to more parties.
According to AAA, these are the top Memorial Day destination cities:
- Myrtle Beach
- Washington, D.C.
- New York
- San Francisco
- Los Angeles
- South Padre Island
If you’re headed to any of these cities, keep in mind that increased numbers of drivers could cause accidents. According to the National Safety Council, Memorial Day weekend has seen an 11.5 percent average increase in traffic fatalities over the past 6 years. Nearly half of these are due to drunk driving!
Celebrate Smart This Holiday Weekend
Whether you’re planning to drive across town or take a cross-country road trip, there are certain steps you should take to make sure that you and those around you remain safe.
Don’t be an accident statistic this holiday weekend:
- Click it or ticket: Not only are police officers across the nation ramping up seat belt checks in light of the upcoming weekend, the increased amounts of impaired drivers on the road make this a safety issue as well. A seat belt could save you from a ticket, not to mention your life. Use it.
- Drink responsibly: Nothing goes better with barbecue on a hot summer day than an ice cold beer. Enjoy it! Just make sure you won’t regret it later. Enlist a designated driver, take a cab, or make overnight plans.
- Drive defensively: With increased numbers of cars on the road and the increased potential for drunk driving, use caution when road tripping or even just running a last-minute errand! Be extra cautious to avoid driving distractions, especially during this weekend.
- Avoid danger hours: Drunk drivers tend to be on the roads from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Try to drive before or after this time period. If this is unavoidable, proceed with caution.
By using a little extra caution on the roads this holiday weekend, you can greatly increase your chances of a safe and enjoyable start to your summer! Our team of Houston trucking accident attorneys at Arnold & Itkin wish you a happy Memorial Day and safe weekend.