Authorities, Safety Advocates Urge Caution Ahead of Memorial Day Weekend.
Safety advocates have a grim outlook for this upcoming Memorial Day weekend. One group, the National Safety Council, estimates more than 400 people will die on in car carshes--their highest estimate since 2012.
“Memorial Day should mark the start of summer – not the start of another deadly driving season,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Paying attention, slowing down and being courteous can ensure you and your fellow travelers make it to picnics, beaches and BBQs rather than emergency rooms.”
The NSC--a nonprofit organization that seeks to end preventable deaths--reports traffic deaths during Memorial Day weekend increased 6 percent in 2016, and 14 percent since 2014. Those figures mark the steepest two-year increase since the mid-1960s.
The NSC offers the following safety tips ahead of this travel weekend.
- Wear a seat belt on every trip. About 159 lives may be saved during the holiday because people will buckle up.
- Make sure children are restrained in safety seats that are appropriate for their height, age and weight.
- Impairment begins with the first drink. Designate an alcohol and drug-free driver or arrange alternate transportation.
- Get plenty of sleep and take regular breaks to avoid fatigue.
- Never use a cell phone behind the wheel, even hands-free.
- Do not allow teens to drive with their friends. A single young passenger can increase a teen driver’s fatal crash.
- Learn about your vehicle’s safety systems and how to use them. MyCarDoesWhat can help drivers understand the ins and outs of features such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning systems and backup cameras.