Memorial Day Safety Tips for Georgia Residents

Memorial Day weekend is a special time for Georgia residents. The holiday marks a moment of remembrance
as we honor those who bravely served our nation. But with the weather warming and the school year ending,
Memorial Day weekend also marks the unofficial start of summer. From backyard cookouts to community
events like the Memorial March in Stockbridge, road trips, beach trips, and boating on Lake Jackson, our roads
and waterways will be much busier than usual. Amid all the festivities, it’s important to keep safety front and
center while enjoying the holiday weekend with family, friends, and loved ones.

In this blog, we’ll go over a few helpful hints concerning:

  • Travel safety
  • Alcohol consumption and DUI prevention
  • Water and boating safety


Travel Safety Tips

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Memorial Day ranks near the top of
dangerous holidays for road travel. More than 42 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more
from home over the long weekend. The NHTSA estimates there are four times more car accidents during
Memorial Day weekend, with 37% of fatal crashes involving a drunk driver. With Interstate 75 running through
Henry County, traffic is expected to be heavier than normal with travelers on their way to the beach and other
weekend destinations.

It may be obvious, but safe driving is crucial for the well-being of your passengers and others on the road.
Follow Georgia’s traffic laws, avoid distractions like texting and using your cell phone, and be aware of the
heightened risk of accidents during Memorial Day weekend. Always buckle up – using lap and shoulder seat
belts can reduce the risk of fatal injury during an accident by up to 60%. Consider frequent stops every two or
three hours to avoid fatigue. Keep a first aid kit in your vehicle. And if you’ve consumed any alcohol, it’s
imperative you never get behind the wheel and instead rely on a designated driver or ride-share services like
Uber or Lyft.

If you’re involved in an accident, try to remain calm and check for injuries. Contact emergency services
immediately if medical attention is needed. Exchange insurance information with the other party and
document the scene if it’s safe to do so. Knowing your legal responsibilities and how to navigate insurance
claims is essential — consider consulting with a personal injury attorney to understand your rights and which
steps to take.

    Alcohol Consumption and DUI Prevention

    Alcohol is a part of Memorial Day celebrations for many, and there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a cold beer
    or cocktail. But it’s important to always drink responsibly. Georgia has strict laws regarding Driving Under the
    Influence (DUI) and a DUI arrest can have far-reaching costs and penalties including license suspension,
    devastating fines, and even serious criminal charges. Again, it’s important to never drink and drive and to use
    a designated driver or rideshare service to get home safely after a day of celebrating.

    But if you or someone you know is arrested for a DUI, it’s critical to promptly seek legal counsel. An
    experienced DUI attorney can provide guidance, support, and representation to help you navigate the legal


    Water Safety

    It’s tough to beat a day on the beach, relaxing by a swimming pool, or boating on Georgia’s many bodies of
    water. But water safety should never be overlooked, as accidents can happen quickly and without warning.
    According to the CDC, the drowning death rate in Georgia is slightly higher than the national average over
    Memorial Day weekend, which makes proper water safety crucial.

    Everyone, especially young children, should always be supervised near water and while swimming. Life jackets
    or floatation devices are crucial for boaters and inexperienced swimmers. According to Georgia law, all boats
    in Georgia are required to have at least one U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket on board for each
    passenger. Every child under the age of 13 onboard is required to wear a life jacket while the boat is moving.
    It’s also a good rule of thumb to bring along sunscreen and plenty of water.

    Georgia enforces Boating Under the Influence (BUI) laws, which come with their own set of penalties and
    consequences. Designate a “sober captain” if your plan for a day on the boat includes alcohol. If a boating
    accident occurs, you could be liable for any injuries sustained. Always ensure everyone on your boat
    understands the importance of water safety and knows how to act in an emergency.


      As we all look forward to quality time away from work and with friends and family this Memorial Day
      weekend, let’s also commit to making safety a top priority. By exercising caution on the roads, practicing
      responsible drinking habits, and being safe while participating in water activities, we can all make it a safer
      holiday weekend for everyone involved.

      If you do find yourself in need of legal assistance, know that the attorneys of Smith, Welch, Webb & White are
      here to support you with honest, relationship-focused legal guidance. We’ve been serving our community for
      over a century and will always be here to help you navigate your life’s milestone moments. Contact us for a
      case evaluation or call 855-505-7999.

      Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend