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Memorial Day Driving Tips

In Michigan, Memorial Day weekend is an exciting time that symbolizes the start of the summer and the nice weather that comes along with it. However, many people do not understand that Memorial Day weekend is one of the most dangerous weekends of the year on the road. The number of people on the road skyrockets in Michigan during Memorial Day Weekend with a projected 1.3 million Michigan residents expected to drive 50 miles or more throughout the weekend. This major increase in drivers on the road results in the road becoming significantly more dangerous than it would be during any normal weekend. The National Safety Council estimates that 415 people may die on the road during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. Here are 5 tips to help you avoid the dangers of travel during this time of year and enjoy your holiday weekend safely.

Tip 1: Avoid Alcohol

This may be the most obvious tip, but it is by far the most important. Drinking any sort of alcohol can have a negative impact on your ability to drive, slowing your reaction time as well as your perception of speed, distance, etc. Accidents that involve a drunk driver have proven to be significantly more dangerous than any regular accident with 31% of all fatal accidents in the US being related to alcohol. Drunk driving numbers increase drastically over holiday weekends with one of the main components being Memorial Day weekend. Approximately 40% of accidents that have happened on Memorial Day weekend since 2011 have included a drunk driver. Memorial Day has proven to be the fifth most dangerous holiday for drunk driving throughout the year with a risk 51% higher than an average weekend. All in all, it is very important to avoid any sort of alcohol use before or while driving and to drive defensively, especially during and around Memorial Day, in case the people driving around you have been drinking.

Tip 2: Watch and Listen for Motorcycles

In Michigan, with the warm weather usually comes a ton of motorcyclists, especially on a holiday weekend such as Memorial Day. Motorcycles have proven to be much more dangerous on the road than any regular car for the people riding them as well as the people around them because they are significantly harder to see/locate than a regular car. The fatality rate for motorcycle accidents is about 30 times higher than a regular car crash because motorcycle riders have so much less protection around them while riding. So, if you were to misplace a motorcycle on the road and get into an accident, chances are that you are going to be liable for very significant injuries. Therefore, while on the road, especially during an extremely busy time like Memorial Day weekend, be sure to double check your surroundings and listen for any motorcycles around you to prevent sustaining or causing significant injuries on the roads.

Tip 3: Check All Your Tires

Before putting the car in drive, always be sure to double check that all your tires are properly inflated, and that they have the proper traction for travel. Approximately 10 percent of all car crashes have to do with tire related issues in which at least one of the vehicles did not have proper traction and/or inflation in their tires. To determine if your tires have proper traction, you can either measure it using a tread depth tool or the penny test in which you put the penny into the tire tread, and if any part of Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread, your tires are sufficient, if not they need to be replaced. Also, be sure to check that you have a spare tire as well as the tread and inflation of your spare.

Tip 4: Schedule Frequent Breaks

Anytime you or your family are taking a road trip, make sure that you are taking frequent breaks throughout the drive in order to significantly reduce your chances of getting into an accident. Taking breaks is extremely important during a holiday weekend because it helps to reduce fatigue and prevents loss of concentration, allowing you to stay sharp on the road during such a busy time as Memorial Day weekend.

Tip 5: Avoid Distractions

Avoiding distractions while on the road is also an extremely important aspect of driving during Memorial Day weekend. There is an abundance of evidence that cell phone use dramatically increases accident risk for drivers of all ages. Make sure that anything that can be distracting is dealt with and put in a place so that it will not be distracting to you before starting your drive so that you can enjoy the fun of the holiday weekend.

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Femminineo Law, PLLC is Michigan’s finest personal injury firm. He has succeeded in recovering hundreds of millions of dollars for victims of highway accidents, medical malpractice, slips and falls, and for wrongful death matters throughout the State of Michigan.

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