Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council today released its estimates for traffic crashes for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend which begins at 6 p.m. Fri., May 27 and ends at 11:59 p.m. Mon., May 30.
The council estimates 471 traffic fatalities over the traditional summer kick-off weekend and another 25,400 disabling injuries from motor vehicle collisions.
The council also estimates that 393 people will survive the Memorial Day holiday because they will be wearing seatbelts and that another 115 lives could be saved if all wore safety belts.
For the past six years, the Memorial Day weekend has averaged 8.7% more traffic fatalities than similar non-holiday periods.
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 roads and highways.
To ensure a safe Memorial Day weekend, NSC recommends drivers:
- Establish and enforce a driver’s ‘distraction-free zone’ especially in cars equipped with electronic devices including cell phones, video games and global positioning systems.
- Make sure all passengers are buckled up and children are in age-appropriate safety seats.
- Allow plenty of travel time to avoid frustration and diminish the impulse to speed.
- Drive defensively and exercise caution especially during inclement weather.
- Don’t drink and drive. Even moderate consumption of wine or beer impairs reaction time and driving judgment.
The National Safety Council (www.nsc.org) saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads, through leadership, research, education and advocacy.