Memorial Day weekend symbolically kicks off summer festivities and many people are looking to kick off their summer festivities with a road trip. AAA projects that more than 38 million Americans are expected to travel this weekend, making it the second highest travel volume on a Memorial Day weekend, and the most in over a decade. AAA estimates a 2.1% increase in holiday travelers who are driving to their destinations this weekend, prompted by the low gas prices, which are at their lowest since 2005. Air travel is expected to increase by 1.6%, but the number of travelers using other modes of transportation (cruises, buses, trains) are expected to decline, with most drivers preferring road travel.
Heavy traffic and anxious drivers out in droves are inevitable, making this a worthy time to remind you of our simple tips for staying safe during holiday driving. Use these tips to maximize the safety of yourself and your passengers, and to decrease the stress of driving this Memorial Day weekend.
Dellino Law Group wishes you an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend and urges you to drive safely.
- Don’t drink and drive. Memorial Day weekend is notorious for BBQs and parties, where alcohol is a common part of the equation. As everyone is out celebrating this weekend, we encourage you to drink responsibly and choose a designated driver. Keep yourself and those around you safe.
- Make sure the car is ready. Be sure your vehicle is properly maintained, in good shape for travel.
- Map your route out ahead of time when possible. Have a plan and be aware of alternate routes.
- Buckle up! Ensure you and your passengers are properly restrained in seat belts and car safety seats.
- Avoid fatigue. Get a good night sleep the night before, take regular breaks, and share the driving if possible. If you are tired, pull off the road to a rest area.
- Have an emergency plan. Have a cell phone and charger with you so it can be used in case of an emergency. Keep the contact information for emergency roadside assistance handy.
- Do not text while driving and minimize cell phone use in order to keep your full attention on the road. Utilize a hands-free device if you need to use your cell phone. See our prior blog post for details about cell phone and texting while driving laws in Washington State.
- Keep a safe following distance, allowing for ample time to react to the traffic around you. If someone is tailgating you, allow them to pass. Don’t try to compete with impatient and aggressive drivers.
- Watch your speed.Drive to the conditions and don’t drive over the speed limit. Give yourself plenty of time to get to where you are going so you are not in a rush.
- Remain calm. If you feel stressed or irritable, take some deep breaths and stay calm. Don’t drive with road rage – This compromises the safety of yourself and the people around you.