Car accidents are more prone on Memorial Day that any other holiday we have. Or i should say car accident fatalities.Traffic will start today in most major cities around the United States. It is estimated 41.5 million Americans are traveling this Memorial Day weekend. You are 4 times more likely to have a fatality traffic accident over this holiday weekend that on a normal weekend.
How many people die each year in Memorial Day car accidents?
According to the NHTSA Memorial day had an average of 312 fatal accidents per year. These accidents include
- Car accidents
- Tractor Trailer Accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
Memorial Day is the deadliest travel holiday in the US. Labor Day averages 312 fatalities and the holiday we all think is the deadliest July 4th has around 307. Surprisingly New Years Eve doesn’t even make the list, fatal car accidents on New Year’s Eve are around 245. The most deadly city is Houston Texas.
How we travel on Memorial Day
- 41.5 Million People are expected to be traveling this holiday weekend. Not all of these will be traveling by car.
- Planes- about 3.1 million Americans will be traveling by air to their Memorial Day destination, this is a 6.8% increase
- Vehicles-36.6 Million travelers by automobile. This is up 4.7% from the previous year
- Cruise ships, buses, and trains-1.8 million people traveling on Memorial Day weekend. This is up by 2.4%
Worst times to hit the road
Well, that is today Thursday. Most people take Friday off and start heading to the Memorial Day destination today. In all the major cities such as Atlanta, Houston, Las Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, Jacksonville traffic will start around 1:30pm. You need to add about 1.5 times the amount of time it would normally take you to reach your destination. You should exercise patience today and tomorrow while operating your vehicle on the roads.
Reasons for car accidents on Memorial Day
- Drinking and driving
- Running red lights
- Number of vehicles on the road
The National Coalition for Safer Roads recently released studies showing that Memorial Day weekend also tops the list of the weekend with the most red-lights run. This could be because of frustration with all the cars on the road or just in a hurry to get to where they are going. I actually surprised by this number of red light violations going up just on this weekend.
Memorial day is the start of the boating season for many Americans. The majority of Boating accidents on memorial day are due to alcohol. Alcohol And boating as we know , don’t mix. We do not have 2018 Memorial Day boating accident numbers. The coastguard does not break up boating accidents like we do car accidents. The data is also 2 years old. There are 11,961,568 recreational vessels registered in the United States
2017 Boating Accident Statistics
- Total recreational boating accidents -4291
- Property Damage-46 million
Top boating accident death causes
- 76% of deaths related to boating drowned.
- 84.5% of the deaths that drowned where not wearing a life jacket
- Alcohol use is the major factor in boating death accidents. Of the boating deaths, 19% were due to alcohol.
A lot of people are not boat owners, but they are boat renters. They lack experience on the water and do not know all the regulations that come with boating. Memorial Day boaters may be some of the least experience boaters on the water. 81% of deaths occurred from operators who do not receive any instruction or even know how to safely operate a boat.
Contributing factors to boating accidents
- Operator not paying attention
- Not looking out for people in the water
As a boat owner i have seen my share of mishaps on the water. The majority of boating accidents i have seen on our lake is due to inexperienced people driving. Furthermore, im sure alcohol played a factor as well. We never go out on memorial day weekend anymore on our lake because of this. There are way too many boats, and the majority of them have no idea of what they are doing.
Issues you could have traveling on memorial day
AAA estimated it will help about 340,000 motorists this year during Memorial Day weekend. The leading cause of stranded motorist on Memorial Day:
- Dead Batteries
- Locked out of Vehicle
- Flat Tires
This is not all the reasons, however, these are the most common reasons motorist are stranded on Memorial Day weekend. Before hitting the road on Memorial Day you can make sure you check a few things on your car to make your journey a safer one.
If you are driving this memorial day
- Tire Pressure-set to manufacturer’s specifications
- Tire condition-Check the condition of your tires
- Coolant level-make sure your coolant level is correct and if not, find out if you have a leak
- Battery Condition-Have your battery checked as well as your alternator
- Check engine light-make sure you have it diagnosed before taking a long trip. It could be minor, or it could leave you stranded. Most auto parts store will do this for free.
- Check your spare tire-make sure the air pressure is correct. It will leak down over time
You should know if your car is safe to drive a long distance. As the a responsible driver you owe it to your family or passengers to make sure you car is in roadworthy condition. Don’t make the memorial day weekend a nightmare because of car issues.
Things you should have, just in case you have car issues and you are waiting on the side of the road for help
- Cell phone
- I-pad-So when you are stranded, your kids have something to play with
- First Aid Kit-You never know when you will need it, better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
Gas prices have gone up recently but that does not appear to deter motorist from traveling this year on Memorial Day. Please be careful this weekend and be patient. Traffic will be more than usual so allow yourself more time to get to your destination. Hopefully you and your family will build some lasting memories this holiday weekend