Safety Tips for Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend is the official kick-off to summer, which means more travel and an increased risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident.  The National Safety Council averages a 12.45% increase in traffic fatalities when comparing Memorial Day weekend to similar non-holiday periods.  This year, they estimate 439 people may be killed and an additional 50,500 will be seriously injured in motor vehicle crashes during the three-day period. The estimate comes as traffic fatalities continue to trend upwards.

In February, the NSC released its preliminary estimates showing motor vehicle fatalities had increased 8% in 2015 compared to 2014 – the largest year-over-year percentage increase in 50 years. The Council believes the spike in fatal car crashes is due in part to an improving economy with lower gas prices and lower unemployment rates. Certain crash factors, such as speeding and alcohol, are more common during the summer, too.

Drinking and Driving:

On top of traffic congestion, it’s also “No Refusal Weekend,” which means if you are pulled over and refuse a breathalyzer sobriety test, a judge is on standby to issue a warrant for a blood sample. Last year during the Memorial Day weekend, DPS Troopers arrested 270 drunk drivers and issued 3,766 speeding citations, 571 seat belt and child safety restraint tickets, and cited 507 drivers for driving without insurance.

 Drivers can take a variety of measures to help ensure safe travel during the Memorial Day weekend, including:

  • Do not drink and drive.
  • Slow down – especially in bad weather, construction areas, heavy traffic and unfamiliar areas.
  • Eliminate distractions while driving, including the use of mobile devices.
  • Buckle up everyone in the vehicle – it’s the law … “Click It or Ticket.”
  • Don’t drive fatigued, and allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
  • Drive defensively, as holiday travel may present additional challenges.
  • Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained before your trip begins.
  • Slow down or move over for tow trucks and police, fire, EMS and Texas Department of Transportation vehicles stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated – it’s the law.
  • Monitor weather conditions in your area. In the event of inclement weather, avoid high water and use extra caution on roadways. For safety tips related to severe storms, visit: Here

If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident in the Houston, Texas area, contact Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers  to be your go-to car accident attorneys.