The Memorial Day Weekend is one of the deadliest for travelers. Serious and fatal car accidents related to drunk driving increase over the holiday weekend as people travel to barbeques, parades, parties, and celebrations. This is an annual issue.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates there will be nearly 37 million people hitting the road during the four-day weekend that stretches from Friday evening through Monday. With so many on the road, the chance of becoming involved in a motor vehicle accident increases significantly. AAA reports that the number of cars expected on the road over this holiday is up 4.7 percent over last year, despite the highest gas prices since 2014.
Drunk driving is the most preventable cause of serious and often fatal car accidents. Drivers and passengers need to take time to carefully plan their travel before they hit the road. Designating a driver that agrees to abstain from alcohol during a celebration is imperative to everyone arriving home safely and soundly.
Warm weather and plenty of picnicking can sometimes mask the effects that alcohol consumption has on a person. Abstaining from all alcohol is the only way to make sure a driver is not impaired. Even when a driver stops consuming alcohol two hours before they get behind the wheel, they can still be impaired. Accidents caused by slowed reaction time, lack of focus, and falling asleep behind the wheel are common among drunk drivers.
Distracted driving has become as dangerous as drunk driving. Cell phone use, texting, infotainment systems, and navigation devices all require a driver to divert their attention from the road. A mere five second distraction is comparable to a driver traveling the distance of a football field, blindfolded. Serious and often fatal accidents can be prevented by putting cell phones away and focusing on the task of driving.
Drowsy driving is another common cause of car accidents. Those traveling over the Memorial Day weekend should ensure that they are well rested before they embark on their journey, and that they leave early enough from a given activity, so they do not become drowsy on the journey home. Taking turns driving with another licensed passenger, stopping often to stretch your legs, and staying hydrated are helpful in avoiding fatigue.
Make this Memorial Day weekend a happy celebration honoring all those who have given their lives to protect our freedom. With a little careful planning ahead of the barbeques, parades, and picnics you choose to attend, all motorists can remain safe.
Car accidents are often caused by someone else’s negligence – drunk driving, driving under the influence of marijuana or other drugs, distracted driving and drowsy driving are all leading causes of car crashes. If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a car accident, contact a skilled Pittsburgh car accident lawyer at AlpernSchubert P.C. For a free case evaluation, contact us online or call us at 412-765-1888, or toll-free at 800-243-6095. From our offices in Pittsburgh, we represent clients throughout western Pennsylvania, including those in Allegheny County, Lawrence County, and Washington County.