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Memorial Day Weekend Traffic AccidentsWith summer just around the corner, the beginning of the end of the COVID-19 pandemic is here. Social distancing restrictions are easing up as a large number of Americans have been vaccinated. For the first time in over a year, large events are being planned and families are traveling long distances. This upcoming Memorial Day weekend, individuals and families will be getting on the road to meet friends and loved ones. The days of deserted and empty streets are over. For many, the upcoming Memorial Day weekend will be the first road trip or vacation they’ve embarked on in a long time. Unfortunately, celebratory holiday weekends come with an unfortunate rise in drunk drivers and traffic accidents. 

The Orange County personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates represent car accident victims. With multiple offices located in Irvine, Los Angeles, El Segundo, San Diego, and Riverside, our personal injury attorneys represent car accident victims across Southern California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our car accident lawyers, please call 949-727-9300.

 

National Safety Council Uncertain on Specifics – But Confident in Likely Casualties this Memorial Day Weekend

The National Safety Council (NSC) has estimated that 415 people may be killed, and 47,300 people may be injured, on U.S. roads and highways over the 2021 Memorial Day weekend, officially going from 6 p.m. Friday, May 28 to 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 31. Because of the unprecedented impact of COVID-19, the NSC is uncertain how many people will actually travel over the weekend. In a post on their website, they stated a 90% confidence level for as few as 337 to as many as 502 traffic accident deaths over the holiday weekend.

In 2019, the NSC predicted 380 fatalities from traffic accidents over Memorial Day weekend – 453 actual deaths occurred. In 2020, the NSC estimated 366 fatalities from traffic accidents over Memorial Day Weekend – actual statistics were not yet available. 

The NSC is a 501c3 nonprofit that was founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress in 1953. The organization promotes health and safety throughout the United States, especially in the area of preventable injuries and deaths, and safety in homes and communities. The NSC provides a fatality and injury estimate for six major holiday weekends each year: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas

 

How to Stay Safe on Memorial Day Weekend

If you are planning to leave your house over Memorial Day Weekend, it is a good time to review what you can do to prevent potential accidents, injuries, and fatalities:

  • Don’t Look At Your Phone While Driving: Our cell phones get more use than ever, but drivers must understand that their phones can take their eyes, hands, and minds off the wheel. Read our blog “Mobile Apps that Promote Safe Driving” to learn about smartphone applications that will help you keep your eyes off the screen and focused on the road ahead. Program any music or navigation before you start moving, and don’t look at your phone until you reach your destination and are safely parked. 
  • Buckle Up: Seatbelts do not prevent accidents in the same vein as helmets do not prevent motorcycle accidents, but they can reduce the severity of injuries and save lives. If you are driving, ask your passengers to buckle up before putting the vehicle in drive. 
  • Don’t Drive While Fatigued: Many people are loading the family up Friday evening and driving to a destination for the weekend. Especially for those that work all day and then depart on a road trip, fatigue can take a serious toll. Nevertheless, drowsy driving is considered distracted driving. Driving while fatigued may cause drivers to feel less alert of their surroundings, thus will have a slower reaction time. Read our blog “Drowsy Driving is Hazard Driving” to learn more. 
  • Give Your Car a “Preflight Inspection”: Commercial truck drivers and airplane pilots must perform a pre-departure inspection before every trip because it reduces the likelihood of an accident. Although an inspection of your vehicle isn’t required, it is highly recommended. Checking vehicles for fluid levels, tire pressure, and functioning engines and brake systems can ensure you don’t have a breakdown on the side of the road. Being stranded on the side of the highway with a disabled vehicle puts you at significant risk of being struck by a vehicle. 
  • Don’t Drink and Drive: Nationwide,  the number of accidents involving alcohol-impaired drivers has gone down. However, on holiday weekends, the percentage of fatality accidents involving an alcohol-impaired driver is much higher. People that don’t normally drink may be tempted to get behind the wheel while buzzed or drunk – or may do so without even thinking about it. If you will be drinking, don’t drive. Plan to Uber or Lyft, or make other arrangements. 
  • Anticipate More Traffic and Distracted, Drunk, or Reckless Drivers:  Keep your head on a swivel on the road, and remember that with more cars on the road, your risk of being in a traffic accident on a holiday weekend—especially one involving an alcohol-impaired driver—is increased. 

 

What to Do Following a Traffic Accident on Memorial Day Weekend 

The steps you take following a car accident are crucial. In the event of a car accident, keep in mind of these important steps: 

Preserve Evidence

The more evidence you collect, the stronger your personal injury claim will be against the negligent party. Taking photos of the scene and all vehicles involved in the accident is a good start. To ensure all necessary evidence is recorded by an unbiased party, it is best to contact 911 and request a police officer to come and file a police report, also known as a “traffic collision report”. Read our past blog “Importance of a Police Report for a Car Accident” to learn more. 

Seek Medical Attention

Most importantly, get medical attention as soon as possible. Seeking medical care not only documents your injuries, but it is a good measure to take even if you don’t feel much pain to rule out any underlying injuries that may make themselves present hours or days after the accident

Hire an Auto Accident Attorney

Once your immediate medical needs have been addressed, consult with an experienced Orange County car accident attorney. If you have been in a car accident and suffer from injuries due to the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to compensation. An Orange County personal injury lawyer can fight for your rights against the insurance companies and hold the negligent parties responsible. 

 

Consult with an Experienced Orange County Car Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by another party, it’s important to immediately contact a professional personal injury attorney.  The Orange County car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates can then help determine if you have a valid personal injury claim. 

With multiple offices located in Irvine, Los Angeles, El Segundo, San Diego, and Riverside, our personal injury lawyers represent car accident victims across Southern California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our accident attorneys, please call 949-727-9300.