Memorial Day Weekend often represents one of the biggest travel weekends of the year as people take advantage of the newly warm weather to go somewhere new, especially if they’ve been largely cooped up during the winter. However, if you plan on traveling for the holiday weekend, you should bear in mind the increased risk of car accidents during Memorial Day Weekend. Crash statistics show that a person traveling by car over Memorial Day weekend is four times as likely to get into a fatal car accident as they are on an average weekend.
Most Common Causes of Car Accidents Over Memorial Day Weekend
Studies have found that two of the most common causes of car accidents during Memorial Day weekend include drunk driving and running red lights. A report by the National Coalition for Safer Roads found that the rate of drivers running red lights during Memorial Day Weekend is as much as 27 percent higher than on another average weekend, with the Friday before Memorial Day having the highest rate of the weekend. This is likely due to the fact that drivers are trying to get to their destinations after a long week of work to start their holidays, and may begin to drive aggressively to make up for delays caused by traffic.
Drunk driving also leads to numerous accidents during Memorial Day weekend, as many people attend barbecues, parties, and other celebrations where alcohol may be consumed. Drivers who partake in alcohol may end up getting behind the wheel while still intoxicated.
How to Keep Safe While Driving During Memorial Day Weekend
If you’re going to be traveling to parties or celebration or traveling out of town for vacation for Memorial Day weekend, here are some tips to remember to help keep yourself safe on the road:
- Plan to leave early to give yourself extra time to get to your destination while accounting for heavy traffic, construction, and other delays.
- Avoid the temptation to engage in aggressive or reckless driving just to get to your destination more quickly.
- If traveling long distances, remember to stop every few hours to get out and stretch for a few minutes, which will help keep you alert behind the wheel.
- If possible, avoid driving the highest risk times of the weekend, such as Friday afternoon/early evening when people leave work and travel to their destinations for the weekend, or Monday evening when people return home. Also, avoid driving at night if possible.
- Exercise caution when approaching intersections, as drivers are more likely to run stop signs or red lights.
- Remember to keep space between you and the vehicle in front, especially if that vehicle is a large truck. Stay out of any driver’s blind spots; if you can’t see the driver’s face in their mirrors, the driver likely cannot see you.
- Avoid the temptations for distractions while driving such as texting or calling, or adjusting the radio or climate control.
Finally, you should always practice defensive driving, which includes remaining alert, being aware of how other vehicles around you are behaving, and trying to anticipate a driver’s actions.
Contact a Chatham Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Blume, Forte, Fried, Zerres & Molinari represent clients injured because of car accidents in Bayonne, Hoboken, West New York, Kearny, and throughout New Jersey. Call (973) 635-5400 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at One Main St., Chatham, NJ 07928, as well as offices in Jersey City, Sea Girt, and North Bergen.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.