Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor the brave men and women who have died while serving in the U.S. military. It's also a time for family and friends to get together and celebrate the beginning of summer. Unfortunately, Memorial Day weekend is also one of the most dangerous times to be on the road. According to the National Safety Council, it is estimated that there will be around 400 traffic fatalities and 41,000 serious injuries during Memorial Day weekend.
Tips for Safe Driving
- Plan Your Route Ahead of Time
With so many people on the road during Memorial Day weekend, it's important to plan your route ahead of time to avoid traffic. A GPS navigation system or a traffic app can help you find the quickest and safest way to your destination. If you're going to an unfamiliar area, familiarize yourself with the surroundings before you hit the road.
- Buckle Up and Follow the Speed Limit
Wearing a seatbelt is essential to reduce the risk of injury in a crash. It's estimated that seatbelts saved 14,955 lives in 2017 alone. Additionally, follow the posted speed limit and adjust your speed according to the weather conditions and traffic flow. Speeding is a leading cause of fatal crashes, and going too fast for the needs can easily lead to a crash.
- Avoid Distractions
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts your attention away from driving. This includes texting, talking on the phone, eating, drinking, and even talking to passengers. Stay alert and focused on the road during Memorial Day weekend. Put your phone away, avoid eating while driving, and ask your passengers to keep their volume down to help you stay focused.
- Keep a Safe Distance
Tailgating, or following too closely, is a recipe for disaster. It reduces your stopping distance and increases your chances of rear-ending the car in front of you if they suddenly brake. To avoid this, keep a safe following distance of at least 3 seconds or more. With more cars on the road during Memorial Day weekend, it's important to keep a larger buffer to allow for sudden stops and changes in traffic flow.
- Stay Sober
Drunk driving is a preventable crime that kills around 10,000 people in the U.S. every year. If you plan to drink during Memorial Day weekend, designate a sober driver or use a taxi or rideshare service to get home. Even a small amount of alcohol can impair your judgment and reaction time, so it's better to err on the side of caution and stay sober while driving.
Memorial Day weekend is a time to remember and honor our fallen heroes, but it's also important to remember to stay safe on the road. Planning your route ahead of time, wearing your seatbelt, avoiding distractions, keeping a safe distance, and staying sober can help you avoid a crash and arrive at your destination safely.
Contact the Schackow & Mercadante team at (352) 261-6767 or by visiting our website for more information if you have any additional questions about auto accidents or driving safety. Stay safe, and have a happy Memorial Day!