AAA is projecting that 39.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more for the Memorial Day weekend, which kicks off on Thursday, May 25, and runs through Monday, May 29. The number of travelers is the highest travel volume since 2005.
Even with higher gas prices, most Americans plan to hit the road. An estimated 34.6 million Americans are planning a holiday road trip. According to AAA, car rental bookings are also 19% higher than last year. AAA also expects to have to rescue more than 330,000 motorists, primarily for lockouts, flat tires, and battery-related issues.
Along with driving, Americans will fly, ride the train or bus, or take a cruise. Air travel for Memorial Day weekend is expected to increase by 5.5% while travel by bus, train or cruise, is expected to jump by 2.9%.
Memorial Day is considered one of the deadliest holiday weekends of the year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 312 fatal collisions occurred between 2011 and 2015 during the holiday weekend. Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles data reveals that more than 5,000 accidents occurred during the Memorial Day weekend in 2016; this was a 13% increase compared to the number of crashes in 2015.
What does this mean for you? More drivers on the road mean there is a greater risk of being involved in a car accident. The Memorial Day weekend is often considered the unofficial kick-off of summer. With parties and BBQs scheduled, there is also a higher risk of intoxicated drivers. Here are a few ways to reduce your risk of being involved in an accident during the holiday weekend.
- Don’t drink and drive. It’s as simple as that.
- Avoid all distractions.
- Drive defensively and exercise caution, especially during bad weather
- Avoid driving while drowsy and tired
- If you’re going on a road trip, check the vehicle’s tires, fluids, and make sure you have an emergency kit
- Give yourself enough travel time to get to your destination
- Follow all posted speed limits
- Avoid drivers who appear distracted on the road
For those looking for a safe ride over Memorial Day weekend, AAA is also offering their Tipsy Tow service. AAA will provide a free tow and free ride for anyone who is intoxicated and cannot drive. The driver’s destination must be within 15 miles from the point of pick up. The service is no charge.
If you or someone you love is involved in a car wreck over the Memorial Day weekend, contact car accident attorney Justin Weinstein. He will work tirelessly to help you get the compensation and justice you deserve.
Fill out a contact form or call 954.845.0505.