The Memorial Day weekend brings masses of holiday travelers out on the road, and that unfortunately means more accidents. One recent study found that Memorial Day is the deadliest of all holidays, with drivers and passengers four times as likely to die in a traffic accident over the holiday weekend as over a regular weekend. And while these grim statistics should not dissuade you from traveling by car this weekend, here are some driving safety tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t drive if you’re drunk or high; that’s a no-brainer. But also ask yourself if you are tired, sick or drowsy. If you’re impaired in any way, do not hit the road.
- Make sure your car is in good condition. Are you up-to-date on maintenance, are your tires inflated properly and does your windshield give you a clear view?
- Practice defensive, safe driving tactics including: buckling your seatbelt; stay aware of other drivers; maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you; and observe speed limits and traffic signals.
- Be ready to focus on driving. Distracted driving accounts for an increasing number of crashes. Whether it’s talking to passengers, switching radio stations or texting, anything that takes your concentration from the task at hand can lead to an accident.
- Be prepared. What is the weather like? Is a storm likely? Do you have emergency supplies in the car like water, a first-aid kit, flashlight, blanket, map and a roadside safety kit? Here is a checklist of items you should keep in your car.
Have a safe holiday weekend, all!