Although Memorial Day features awesome parties and cookouts to mark the beginning of summer, there's also a major downside to the enjoyable holiday weekend. In fact, Memorial Day is the leading holiday for fatal car accidents. According to Value Penguin, you are four times more likely to die in a car accident over Memorial Day Weekend as opposed to any other weekend of the calendar year.
On average, 312 deaths occur on Memorial Day Weekend each year in car accidents that often times were preventable if proper driving techniques were implemented. From rushed drivers to drunk drivers, the reality is that operating a vehicle at high-volume times over Memorial Day Weekend is always exceedingly dangerous.
If you're traveling this weekend, implement these safety precautions to keep you and your family safe on the road.
Don't Drink and Drive
Memorial Day Weekend is a great time to kick back, relax and enjoy a cold beer in the warm weather. However, the concept of drinking and driving is a no-brainer. Just don't do it. You shouldn't get behind the wheel if you are under the influence of alcohol in any circumstance.
In Pennsylvania, a Blood Alcohol Concentration above .08% surpasses the legal limit - usually the equivalent of three drinks per hour. There were occured on Memorial Day Weekend in Pennsylvania in 2017, which accounted for 30 percent of all PA traffic deaths and 5.9 percent of Allegheny County traffic death. Seven of those fatalities occured on Memorial Day Weekend.
If you do drink, use Uber and Lyft for transportation or coordinate a designated driver in advance. It could save your life.
Don't Text or Use Social Media
Along with texting, popular social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat have drastically increased the rate of distracted drivers on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that distracted driving accounts for more than 400,000 accidents and over 3,000 fatalities each year. On Memorial Day, the dangers are heightened.
Make sure to refrain from phone use while behind the wheel, and allow other riders in the car to handle texting and GPS duties.
Don't Speed or Drive Recklessly
The old adage "Patience is a virtue" especially applies on Memorial Day Weekend. Those traveling for the holiday tend to rush in order to reach their destinations quickly, which leads to risky and reckless driving habits like speeding on highways, ignoring traffic signs and running red lights.
Practice defensive driving, allow for extra travel time and abide by all traffic laws to create a safer environment for both you and other drivers on the road. If traveling long distances, take breaks every 2-3 hours to stay alert and avoid drowsiness. And always remember to wear your seat belt.
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