More than 39 million travelers will be on the road this Memorial Day, a national holiday that honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. It’s marked by barbecues and pool parties, beach trips and camping, signaling the unofficial start to summer. Many people choose to hit the road this weekend, and if you’re one of them, it’s important to stay safe.
AAA says 39.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Memorial Day weekend — one million more travelers than last year. This large spike in traffic numbers is linked to higher confidence in consumer spending, as more and more people take to the roads, railways, skies and water ways. However, this additional traffic on roads and highways naturally means an increase in the risk of car accidents.
The National Safety Council says more than 400 people will be killed on the roads Memorial Day weekend, representing the highest estimate released for this time period since 2012. This number is 12 percent higher than the average number of deaths, which clocks in at 364, from Memorial Day holidays spanning 2010 to 2015. In addition to the fatalities, it is estimated that 47,000 people will be seriously injured during the holiday period, which officially starts at 6 p.m. this Friday, May 26 and concludes at midnight on Monday, May 29.
This rise in vehicle deaths is an alarming one, with preliminary data for 2016 suggesting traffic deaths increasing six percent last year alone, and 14 percent since 2014. This is the biggest increase the nation has seen since it reached a peak back in 1964.
The best way to combat the chance of accidents while on the road is to simply pay attention and slow down. Be courteous when it comes to other drivers, stay in control and stay alert. Be prepared before hitting the road and make sure your vehicle is in good shape. AAA says it plans to rescue more than 330,000 drivers this Memorial Day weekend, mostly due to lockouts, flat tires and dead batteries. Check out some more tips to staying safe this weekend:
Here at Power Legal, we encourage you to be safe on the roadways this Memorial Day weekend. If you do get into an accident, don’t hesitate to call us at 800-323-POWER. We give free initial consultations and case evaluations. Remember, you owe us nothing unless we win. Stay safe out there!