Memorial Day weekend hails the unofficial start of summer, and millions of people will be hitting the highways, airports, campgrounds and beaches to celebrate the occasion. However, here’s a startling statistic: Memorial Day weekend is also one of the deadliest times to be on the roads. According to CBS News, thanks to an average of 312 traffic fatalities annually, you’re four times more likely to die in a car crash during this particular holiday weekend than at any other time of year.
Ironically, Memorial Day isn’t the heaviest drinking holiday—New Year’s Eve has that distinction—but it is one of the heaviest traffic weekends, and when you add in the potential for drunk driving, it can add up to disaster. And car crashes aren’t the only danger; boating accidents, heat stroke, severe sunburns, dehydration and alcohol poisoning are also quite common on the holiday weekend when people aren’t being mindful.
Don’t let a happy summer kickoff end in tragedy; keep your family safe with these important safety reminders.
- Drive defensively. Keep a safe distance between you and other cars while on the road. Stay alert, and notify police if you observe someone driving erratically. The same goes if you’re driving a boat on the waters.
- Don’t drive drowsy. If you’re traveling a long distance or heading home after a long day at the beach, don’t take a chance on the roads if you feel sleepy. Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Let someone else take the wheel for a while.
- Use sunscreen and stay hydrated. Taking a few minutes to apply sunscreen every couple of hours will pay off greatly by the end of the day. If you’re outdoors in the sun, drink plenty of water, especially if you’re also consuming alcohol. If you get overheated, stop and rest in the shade.
- Go easy on the liquor. Enjoy your time off, but don’t let things get ruined by overdoing the alcohol. Pace yourself. And obviously, if you drink—don’t drive.
One last bit of advice: Remember the purpose for Memorial Day. We are honoring our servicemen and women who have given their lives in service of our country. Take a moment to remember and be grateful—after all, they are the reason we have the freedom to enjoy the holiday in the first place.
If your Memorial Day weekend does result in personal injury, our Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys can help. Call us for a free evaluation.