Memorial Day is a U.S. federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May to honor all men and women who died while serving in the United States military. Unofficially, however, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer. Many will take advantage of the extended weekend to travel to see friends and family or go on a short vacation.
If you decide to travel, consider the past statistics that show Memorial Day weekend to be one of the most dangerous weekends to drive. According to Finder.com, during the 2019 Memorial Day weekend:
- 467 people were killed
- Texas was the most dangerous state to drive in with 46 fatalities
- Harris County, Texas was #3 on the Most Dangerous Cities to Drive During Memorial Day weekend list
- From 2010-2019, Texas had the most deaths with 445 fatalities
- 8 p.m. – 3:59 a.m. is the most deadliest time to be driving
Safety Tips While Traveling During Memorial Day Weekend
Don't let the statistics scare you from having an enjoyable weekend. Consider the following tips when traveling during the Memorial Day weekend to minimize your chances of being involved in a traffic accident:
- Plan Ahead – It will seem that everyone will be traveling on the roads, especially now that COVID restrictions have been relaxed. Understand there will be increased traffic, construction and other delays. Planning your route in advance will help alleviate any pressure or feelings of “making up time” by speeding or taking unfamiliar routes.
- Take Your Time – Exercise patience and caution while driving to your destination. Speeding, going through yellow lights or other rushed behavior may get you to your destination a bit sooner, but it also increases your chance of being involved in a traffic accident. Take your time and place safety over any travel time savings. Arriving a few minutes earlier isn't worth the risk.
- Avoid Distractions – Regardless of experience level, driving requires your complete focus. Even a momentary lapse in attention can lead to an accident. Texting, eating and even daydreaming of the upcoming fun weekend can impact your focus. Exit the roadway to handle things that will interfere with your driving attention.
- Take Frequent Breaks – Driving long distance can take a physical and mental toll on any driver. To refresh your mind and body, take a break after driving after two hours. Take a restroom break or simply pull over and stretch.
- Avoid Driving In The Early Morning Hours – Traffic accidents during Memorial Day weekend are at its peak from 8 p.m. to 3:59 a.m. Avoid driving during these hours by planning ahead.
- Don't Drink and Drive – This is obvious. Don't do it. Don't try to get a jump start on your weekend by drinking and driving. Intoxication is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents. Your destination awaits and you'll have plenty of time to enjoy your alcoholic beverage of choice without risking your life or the lives of others.
Have an enjoyable and safe Memorial Day weekend. If something does happen, call the attorneys at Hernandez Redden Sunosky, LLP 24/7 at (713) 981-4100 for a 100% free, no obligation legal consultation. We are experienced personal injury attorneys who have recovered millions in financial compensation for injury victims. You don't pay us unless we recover compensation for you.