Memorial Day is a federal holiday to remember those who died while serving in the United States armed forces. It is also a long weekend us New Englanders look forward to every year. After long, cold winters and rainy spring seasons, most of us can’t wait for Memorial Day weekend because it is widely considered the unofficial kickoff of summer, especially since it’s supposed to be close to 90 degrees here in Massachusetts.
Many of us will look forward to the long weekend for backyard barbeques, celebrating with family and friends, and a trip to the beach. How does everyone get where they need to be? They travel, of course. AAA estimates that more than 41.5 million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend, which is a 5% increase from last year. With this many anticipated cars on the roads and highways, the risk of motor vehicle accidents and serious injuries will, obviously, increase.
Injury & Fatality Statistics for Memorial Day Weekend are Alarming
The statistics compiled by several agencies have Memorial Day ranked as the third-deadliest weekend when it comes to car accident related deaths. The National Safety Council reported that “at least 300 people have been killed in Memorial Day car accidents every year since 2011.” Additionally, the NSC reported that over 43,000 injuries that will require medical attention are expected to occur as a result of motor vehicle accidents.
With statistics like these and the number of estimated cars on the roadways and highways, you should use caution when driving and be aware of the increased traffic. Many serious accidents and injuries occur due to drunk driving and distracted driving. Memorial Day weekend is no different. Approximately one-third of all traffic fatalities involve drunk drivers over the long weekend. Also, many other car crashes and injuries are due to drivers that are distracted, most by cell phones.
Ways to Avoid Car Accidents and Serious Injuries
The usual increase in travel and traffic over the Memorial Day weekend will increase the probabilities of being injured in an auto accident. But, there are some ways that you can avoid being seriously hurt in a crash. We recommend that you always drive carefully, but over the long weekend you should be extra careful because of all the other vehicles on the road. Don’t ruin you and your family’s summer. If you are traveling this weekend, remember these tips:
- Make sure you are rested before getting behind the wheel. Drowsy driving is a major contributor to car accidents and injuries. With a long weekend, we tend to stay up later, which usually results in less sleep. If you are traveling this weekend, be sure you get enough rest before hitting the road.
- Avoid alcohol if you plan to drive. Drinking and driving has been shown time and time again to be a major factor in car crashes and serious injuries. With a long weekend, most of us like to have a couple of drinks and enjoy time with family and friends. Of course, this is fine, but not if you plan to drive.
- Put your cell phone down when you are driving. Using your cell phone to text, check your email or take a picture while driving is a major distraction and significantly increases the chances of being in an accident and being seriously injured. Taking your eyes off the road to look down at your cell phone is very dangerous and presents a serious risk to you, your passengers and other drivers on the road.
What Do You Do If You Are Injured In A Car Accident?
Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, you cannot avoid an accident. If you are injured in a car accident over the Memorial Day weekend you should follow The Three Important Things to do Immediately after a Car Accident.
One of these three important steps to follow after a car accident is to speak with an experienced Massachusetts personal injury lawyer. An injury attorney can help protect your rights and help you get the compensation you deserve for the injuries you suffered in a crash.
Mahaney & Pappas, LLP are skilled and experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyers. We understand the stress of being injured and can help guide you through the injury claim process. If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a car crash, please contact us online or call (508) 879-3500 to schedule a free case evaluation.