Memorial Day Driving Safety Tips


Memorial Day Is One of the Most Dangerous Times to Drive

Memorial Day is not just a time for barbecuing, volunteering, and honoring our fallen servicemembers; it is also a time when roads become busier with travelers heading to various celebrations and a time known for a high number of vehicular accidents, making driving safety paramount.

Reportedly, Memorial Day weekend is amongst the top six most dangerous holidays for drivers. The National Safety Council estimates that over 415 people will die in a roadway accident during the 2024 holiday period, and their data shows that the number of fatalities is typically 8.1% higher than the number of deaths throughout the month of May.

Stay Safe While Traveling During Memorial Day Weekend

Preparing for your Memorial Day travel with safety in mind can help ensure that the holiday is memorable for all the right reasons. Below, we offer you some tips that can help you avoid being involved in an accident during this holiday weekend.

Complete Essential Car Maintenance

Before you set out on your Memorial Day adventure, a thorough vehicle inspection is crucial. Start with the basics: check your oil levels, tire pressure, brakes, and battery. These are the lifelines of your car, and ensuring they're in top condition can mean the difference between a safe trip and a roadside breakdown.

Don't overlook the importance of windshield wipers and fluid levels, as late spring weather can be unpredictable. A well-maintained car is not just a convenience; it's your first line of defense against the unexpected twists and turns of holiday travel.

Pack Emergency Kit Essentials

Equally important is a well-stocked emergency kit. For Memorial Day weekend, consider adding items that cater to the specific needs of the season. Standard essentials like a first-aid kit, flashlight, and jumper cables should be accompanied by seasonal items such as allergy medication and insect repellent. Tailoring your emergency kit to the time of year and your destination ensures that you're prepared for any hiccup on the road, allowing you to focus on the journey and the joy of the holiday.

Adapt to Increased Traffic

When the roads are bustling with travelers, adapting your driving habits becomes essential. Increased traffic demands heightened awareness and a defensive driving approach. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead, anticipate the actions of other drivers, and stay vigilant of your surroundings.

Patience is not just a virtue; it is a necessity. Rushing can lead to mistakes, so allow extra travel time to reach your destination without the need to speed. Remember, the objective is to share the road responsibly, ensuring everyone's safety during this busy time.

Plan Your Route in Advance

Holiday travel can be a whirlwind, but taking the time to plan your route beforehand can significantly enhance your safety on the road. By knowing exactly where you're going, you can avoid the stress of last-minute map checks and unfamiliar turns, keeping your focus on the road. This allows you to anticipate upcoming traffic lights, intersections, and potential merging lanes, reducing the chances of sudden stops or missed exits.

Planning ahead also empowers you to choose the safest route. Traffic congestion is a holiday hallmark, so using GPS apps to find alternate routes or less busy times of day can significantly reduce your travel time and frustration. You can also factor in weather forecasts and choose routes that avoid areas prone to winter storms or heavy rain.

Designate a Sober Driver

Memorial Day festivities often include barbecues and gatherings where alcohol is present. In the spirit of celebration, it's vital to plan for a sober journey home. Designating a driver who abstains from alcohol ensures that the post-celebration trip is safe for all passengers. This simple yet crucial step can prevent the tragedy of a DUI-related incident, which spikes during holiday weekends.

Utilize Rest Stops & Take Breaks (for Longer Trips)

Long drives can lead to fatigue, which is as dangerous as driving under the influence. Planning for regular breaks at rest stops allows you to stretch, refresh, and regain focus. Colorado's scenic rest areas provide the perfect backdrop for a rejuvenating pause. Mapping out these stops as part of your travel itinerary ensures that you're never too far from a safe place to rest.

Remember, fatigue can sneak up on you, so listen to your body's signals and take breaks before you feel overly tired. Your alertness on the road is a critical component of a safe holiday journey.

Here to Help Injured Motorists

Traveling during Memorial Day weekend can be safe and enjoyable with the right precautions. By following these driving safety tips, you can contribute to a safer environment for everyone on the road. Remember, the best trips are those that end safely at your intended destination. Enjoy the holiday, cherish the time spent with loved ones, and drive safely.

However, if you are involved in an accident and find yourself in need of legal counsel, Law Office of Joseph A. Lazzara, P.C. is here to help. To request a free consultation, call (720) 809-8262 or complete this online contact form.