Memorial Day Weekend is a time to say thank you to our military personnel who sacrificed their lives to protect us. It is also a time for friends and family to celebrate the unofficial start of summer. The Memorial Day holiday period begins Friday after the work week ends, or even earlier, and extends through Monday.
This year may be different than previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Washington State has already begun easing statewide restrictions, but until things get back to normal, many people will refrain from traveling.
Car accidents may have dropped in general during this time, but anyone planning on traveling or celebrating this Memorial Day Weekend should be cautious of the potential risks. Here’s why.
Drunk driving will likely increase
Alcohol consumption spikes during most holiday periods. Police often amp up their efforts to keep drunk drivers off the road, but they can’t be everywhere all the time.
Memorial Day Weekend was ranked the most dangerous holiday period to drive by ValuePenguin. An average of 312 traffic fatalities occur each year during the weekend, with about 40 percent involving a drunk driver.
Another ValuePenguin study ranked Memorial Day Weekend No. 2 for the number of drunk driving fatalities. An average of 39.5 deaths occur each day during that period.
Those who drink this Memorial Day Weekend have the choice of celebrating within walking distance, designating a sober driver, or calling a cab or Uber.
It doesn’t take much alcohol to cause impairment. According to the NHTSA, alcohol impairment can start at a BAC level as low as 0.02 percent.
Speeding and reckless driving has increased during COVID-19
With fewer people traveling during COVID-19, there is far less traffic congestion than usual. Some drivers have the urge to speed but can’t always do so when traffic is congested.
Speeders across the U.S. have already taken advantage of the current situation to grossly exceed the posted speed limit, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Law enforcement officers have clocked some drivers traveling at speeds greater than 100 mph.
Those who travel at dangerous speeds have less control over their car. Rollovers, spinouts, and lane departures can happen when navigating curves in the road. In addition, speeders need more time and distance to stop to avoid rear-ending other drivers, hitting pedestrians, or running red lights.
If you notice someone driving recklessly, do your best to keep your distance. If you happen to catch the driver’s license plate number, be sure to contact the police.
A car accident attorney serving injured motorists throughout greater Vancouver
The Scott Law Firm, PLLC urges everyone to have a fun and safe Memorial Day Weekend. In the event you or a loved one is injured in a crash due to another driver’s reckless behavior, don’t hesitate to contact us to find out what legal options you have. You can also call our Vancouver office at (360) 718-3640.
We offer free, confidential case consultations to new and existing clients. Our legal team will take the time to investigate your crash, piece together a solid claim, and help you get the compensation you need.