For many — if not most — families, Memorial Day involves trips to local beaches and barbecues with friends. The holiday weekend typically kicks off the summer season. But all of the extra traffic on the roads for the upcoming holiday weekend means that the chances of being involved in an accident are much greater.
According to a survey by Michelin for National Tire Safety Week, there may be over 34 million travelers on the roads this Memorial Day weekend.
Distracted driving a factor in many wrecks
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 60 percent of all collisions involve distracted driving. While motorists often associate distracted driving with smartphone usage, there are many other behaviors that cause drivers’ deadly distractions. They include:
- Eating and drinking
- Applying makeup or doing other grooming tasks
- Adjusting the radio and other controls inside the car
- Talking with passengers
- Turning around to discipline children
- Reading maps or interacting with vehicle navigation systems
All of these things can be completely avoided if drivers pull to the side of the road before engaging in any actions other than driving. This can not only save countless lives, but reduce the likelihood of injuries to others and property damage from collisions.
Safety tips for Memorial Day
In addition to not engaging in dangerous distracted driving, following the below safety tips may keep you and your beloved family members safer — not just for the upcoming holiday weekend, but always.
- Allow extra time on trips. If you are taking an unfamiliar route, it’s wise to factor in extra travel time. Even when you know the way, allowing extra time can be helpful when encountering detours or traffic.
- Wearing seat belts. Even on short trips around town, drivers and all passengers should be belted in.
- Plan for emergency assistance. Consider contracting with AAA or another road side assistance plan for travel emergencies. Many credit card companies offer their customers basic plans covered under their credit cards for low or no extra fees.
While some collisions can be avoided by drivers remaining alert and engaged behind the wheel, not all wrecks are completely avoidable. If you or your family members get injured this summer in an auto accident, take the necessary steps to ensure that all medical and financial needs are met.