Memorial Day Weekend Ranks Highest for Fatal Car Accidents of any Holiday Weekend

Statistics show that more people die in car accidents over Memorial Day weekend than any other holiday weekend. The National Safety Council estimates that this Memorial Day weekend 380 people may lose their life in a car accident on U.S. roads. According to NHTSA, a higher volume of holiday travelers, combined with a significant number of alcohol-impaired drivers, results in nearly twice the number of automotive deaths during summer months than during the rest of the year combined. While these statistics probably won’t stop you from going out to celebrate this Memorial Day, there are steps you can take to better protect yourself, your family, and loved ones.

If you decide to enjoy a few alcoholic beverages during your Memorial Day celebrations, don’t risk your life and the lives of others by getting behind the wheel. Even if you only had one drink or you think you are fine to drive after those two jaeger shots you drank earlier in the evening, don’t risk it. Make arrangements for how you plan to get home safely before taking that first drink, or better yet, arrange to spend the night at the location of your celebration. Designate a driver or make plans to call an Uber, Lyft, or taxi at the beginning of your evening and stick to the plan.

Taking proper safety precautions and practicing defensive driving techniques can also help you avoid an accident this holiday weekend. You should always wear your seatbelt while driving and avoid distractions, which means putting down your cell phone. While many states have laws prohibiting drivers from texting while driving, Georgia law goes even further and prohibits drivers from holding a cell phone while driving. Despite the laws of the state in which you are traveling, just put the phone down until you reach your destination. You should also maintain two car lengths from the vehicle traveling in front of you, obey the speed limit and traffic control devices, and always use your turn signals. Paying close attention to the actions of other drivers could also help prevent you from becoming involved in a car accident. For example, if you see that someone is swerving or failing to maintain their lane, keep a safe distance from that vehicle and immediately contact 911 if you suspect that individual may be driving while intoxicated.

Unfortunately, you cannot control the actions of others and some accidents are unavoidable. If you get involved in a car accident this holiday weekend, or at any time for that matter, there are steps you can take to better protect yourself and any claims you may have. First, make sure 911 is called and that you obtain an accident report with accurate information that correctly depicts how the accident occurred. Take photos of the accident scene and any damage to the involved vehicles. If you experience pain following the collision, make sure to report your injuries to the police and first responders and seek immediate medical attention. Document any external injuries you may have with photographs or videos. If you intend to pursue a claim for personal injuries, contact an attorney immediately. There may be evidence or materials that require preservation and there may be a small window within which to act before that evidence is destroyed or lost forever. An experienced personal injury attorney knows the proper steps to take to ensure that this evidence is preserved for future use. You should also reach out to an attorney before giving any recorded statements to an insurance company.

Smith, Welch, Webb & White is recognized as a premier law firm throughout the state of Georgia. We have investigated hundreds of automobile collisions and have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for injured clients and families of those killed in wrongful death accidents. Our team of experts routinely handles a wide range of legal matters, and will provide outstanding service for you, your family, or your business. For more information, reach out to one of our personal injury attorneys today by calling (770) 389-4864.

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