The National Safety Council has released its estimates for traffic crashes for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend, which begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 25, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 28. The Council estimates 420 traffic fatalities and another 42,000 medically consulted injuries will occur over the traditional summer kick-off weekend from motor vehicle collisions.
NSC also estimates 149 people may survive the Memorial Day holiday weekend because they will be wearing safety belts, and another 107 lives could be saved if all people wore safety belts.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will run its "Click It or Ticket" campaign from May 21 to June3. “Click It or Ticket,” the most successful safety belt enforcement campaign ever, has contributed to increasing national safety belt usage rates. Law enforcement will enact a zero-tolerance enforcement of safety belt laws coast-to-coast, day and night, throughout the campaign.
For the past six years, the Memorial Day holiday weekend has averaged 11.5% more traffic fatalities than similar non-holiday periods. This is likely due in part to increased travel.
NSC issues fatality estimates for major holiday periods to draw attention to the need for drivers to exercise safe driving practices, especially when a significant number of drivers are expected to be traveling on our roadways and highways.
To ensure a safe Memorial Day holiday weekend, NSC recommends drivers:
Supplemental Memorial Day Holiday Traffic Fatality Estimate Detail
- Refrain from all cell phone use behind the wheel
- Make sure all passengers are buckled up and children are in age-appropriate safety seats
- All children 12 and under should always be in the back seat
- Allow plenty of travel time to avoid frustration and diminish the impulse to speed
- Drive defensively and exercise caution, especially during inclement weather
- Avoid driving while drowsy
- Designate a “non-drinking” driver – even moderate consumption of alcohol impairs reaction time and driving judgment