With Memorial Day quickly approaching, this is a good time to discuss some safety measures you can put in place beforehand. Second only to the Fourth of July, Memorial Day is a busy weekend for car travel. In fact, in 2013 an estimated 2.4 million vehicles were on the New York State Thruway and traveled more than 82 million miles.
Due to the expected increase in traffic and the need for safety, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will run its “Click It or Ticket” campaign which will begin on May 21 and end June 3. The campaign has successfully contributed to increasing national safety belt usage rates.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), for more than six years, the Memorial Day holiday weekend has averaged 11.5 percent more traffic fatalities compared to similar non-holiday periods and it is likely due to an increase in travel. The NSC releases fatality estimates for holiday periods to bring attention to the need for adhering to safe driving practices. Below are some helpful safety tips drivers should follow for the holiday weekend in an attempt to lessen accident risk.
When driving, refrain from cell phone use which falls under distracted driving. Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety.
The driver as well as all passengers should be buckled in and age-appropriate car seats should be used when needed.
Children under 12 should be seated in the back seat.
With the roads expected to be more crowded it is best to leave early so as to allow enough travel time to avoid frustration and speeding.
Drive defensively and with caution at all times.
Designate a ‘non-drinking’ driver before heading out of the evening to ensure that someone remains sober and doesn’t consume any alcoholic beverages.
Law enforcement agencies across the country will be intensifying their efforts over the holiday weekend and you should too by using the tips outlined above. Happy Memorial Day!