Here at James Scott Farrin, we are proud to have among us many U.S. military veterans who have bravely fought for our freedoms. We are honored they chose our firm as a career step after serving in the U.S. armed forces.
—James S. Farrin, Founder and President, the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin
Memorial Day is the unofficial beginning of summer. Pools open. Neighborhood barbecues. Parades that honor our nation’s military veterans. And it’s a welcomed long weekend.
Last year, spurred largely by cheaper gas prices, AAA estimated that more than 38 million hit the highways Memorial Day weekend – the highest number since 2005. The downside?
44% of Memorial Day Traffic Fatalities Involve Booze
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says 13% more people die during a typical Memorial Day weekend than on a non-holiday weekend. You can probably guess what they report is a contributing factor.
Booze contributes to 44% of Memorial Day traffic fatalities.
That’s a substantial factor you want to keep out of your travel equation. Even if you are driving stone cold sober, obviously many others are not.
Here are some safety tips from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to help you travel NC’s roads more safely over Memorial Day weekend:
- Leave early to get a head start on your drive. Travel at non-peak hours when possible.
- Stay alert, especially in construction zones. Even if work is suspended, you may encounter narrowed lanes and traffic shifts in work zones.
- Be patient and obey the posted speed limit.
- Use alternative routes when possible to avoid traffic congestion.
- Stay informed. Real-time travel information is available online and over the phone by dialing 511.
- Don’t drive if you are drowsy. Travel at times when you are normally awake, and take frequent breaks.
- Avoid distracted driving. When drivers stop focusing on the road ahead, they react more slowly to traffic conditions and are more likely to be involved in an accident.
- Give yourself a buffer by not following other cars too closely.
If you do enjoy an adult beverage or two, there are many driving services today across North Carolina that take you and your car home including the ones in this guide.
“100 Deadliest Days” Begins Memorial Day
According to AAA, the 100 days between Memorial Day through Labor Day are the “100 deadliest days” for teens. That’s partly because teens are out of school and more of them are behind the wheel. The other reason is that many are driving distracted. Texting, talking, or generally not paying attention. And they’re inexperienced.
Jurek Grabowski, Research Director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety explains, “Every day during the summer driving season, an average of 10 people die as a result of injuries from a crash involving a teen driver.” Research shows that distraction continues to be one of the leading causes of crashes for teen drivers.
You Can Help Curb Distracted Driving
Cars.com reports that half of all teen drivers will be involved in a crash before graduating from high school.
Distracted driving among teens is your problem. It’s my problem. It’s everyone’s problem. Here are some things each of us can do to help try to encourage teens to break this deadly habit.
- Practice what you preach. Don’t drive distracted yourself.
- Start discussions early on, well before teens reach driving age.
- Take advantage of some of the latest apps (some are free) and tech gadgets that can help make it easier for teens (and all of us) to avoid using phones while behind the wheel.
- Visit the Enddd.org (End Distracted Driving), a non-profit organization started by the father of a 21-year-old daughter who was killed by a distracted driver. And print and display their YES! I WILL family pledge and safe driving agreement.
- Visit aaa.com/NC for safety resources for your teen drivers.
Get a FREE Evaluation From NC Car Wreck Attorneys
If you or someone you care about was injured in a car wreck during Memorial Day or any other day, contact an experienced car wreck lawyer.
3According to Yahoo, other deadly days to drive are Black Friday, NFL game days, the beginning of Daylight Savings Time, New Year’s Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and St. Patrick’s Day.