Memorial Day weekend is here, and many of us are looking forward to a long weekend of rest and relaxation. For millions of us in the United States, that means hitting the wide open road and getting out to see the country, something we can all appreciate after a long, stressful year spent in the middle of a pandemic.
According to American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates, more than 37 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more from their homes between May 27th through the 31st, representing a 60% increase over last year’s numbers, which were stymied by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In fact, last year saw the lowest number of Memorial Day weekend travelers since the AAA started tracking these numbers in 2000, and the 37 million expected this year is still about 13% less than the number of Memorial Day travelers in 2019. So while the country is still on the rebound, it’s looking like things are slowly getting back to normal.
Unfortunately, more travelers on the road means more cars on the road, and that means more car accidents.
National Safety Council Fatality Estimates
Every year the National Safety Council estimates how many traffic accident fatalities they expect to happen for each and every holiday. Part of determining these estimates involves comparing the number of accidents that occur during each holiday period, in order to determine which holidays are the most dangerous for motor vehicle accidents.
Their findings are surprising, as many of us would assume that holidays that usually involve partying and social gatherings, and the alcohol consumption that often comes with those gatherings, such as New Year’s Eve and Christmas, would be the most dangerous holidays. But you would be surprised.
According to Fatality Analysis Reporting System data reviewed by the NSC, while the 4th of July may typically have the most fatal accidents of any single day holiday, Memorial Day Weekend is the holiday that has the highest number of fatal accidents over a 3-day period of time.
The NSC is estimating that this Memorial Day holiday weekend, as many as 415 fatalities could occur over the three day weekend from Friday night through Monday night. That is a tragic number of deaths over such a short period of time. While every estimate involves some level of uncertainty, the NSC estimate comes with a 90% confidence interval that the number of fatalities will be in the range of 337 to 502, so regardless of what the actual number ends up being, it’s a terrible loss of human lives.
How to Avoid an Accident
While nobody can protect themselves from the unforeseen negligent actions of another driver in all situations, there are things you can do to help avoid causing a car accident yourself. Here are the top four ways you can avoid causing an accident:
- Focus on the road. Put your smart phone away, and keep your eyes on the road. If you’re traveling with other passengers, have them check your phone for you, if you receive a notification while driving.
- Drive sober. Drinking and driving is responsible for almost a third of all fatal motor vehicle accidents. If you’re traveling, don’t drink until you get to where you’re going, or have a designated driver available and ready to take the wheel if needed.
- Don’t drive drowsy. Take a break or hand over driving duties to another person in your vehicle if you start to feel sleepy behind the wheel. You can also plan ahead to break up long road trips into smaller more manageable parts, so that you won’t fatigue as easily.
- Drive defensively. Always be aware of what the other drivers on the road are doing, so that you can react quickly should you need to. Make sure you leave enough room between you and the car in front of you, and always drive in a manner appropriate to the weather conditions you find yourself in.
With some careful, attentive driving, and smart planning, you can do everything within your power to avoid an accident, and help ensure that you and your family have the Memorial Day experience you deserve.
Contact our Colorado Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers
If you or a member of your family were injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact our Colorado attorneys for help today. At the Gold Law Firm, we work hard to achieve the maximum compensation for all of our clients. Contact us today for a free, no-pressure consultation by calling (303) 694-4653, or by filling out the contact form on this page.
The Gold Law Firm serves the victims of personal injury, car accidents, and insurance disputes throughout the state of Colorado, including Castle Pines, Denver, Akron, Brush, Byers, Fort Morgan, Greeley, Holyoke, Strasburg, Weldona, Wiggins, and Yuma.