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Nearly 400 fatalities from crashes this Memorial Day weekend, estimates National Safety Council

NSC encourages drivers to use extra caution
to keep our roadways safe

Itasca, IL, May 15, 2015 – The National Safety Council today released its estimates of fatalities from traffic crashes for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend, beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 22, and ending at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 25. The Council estimates 383 traffic fatalities and another 46,300 medically consulted injuries may occur over the traditional summer kick-off weekend from motor vehicle collisions. Total traffic fatalities for May 2015 are estimated to total 3,073.

“Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer fun for families around the country, but unfortunately, the long holiday weekend will end with death and injury for far too many,” said Deborah Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “These tragedies are completely preventable. We issue these estimates to make drivers aware of the risks on the roadways and encourage them to be especially cautious this weekend.”

The most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 2014 reports that an estimated 87 percent of vehicle occupants wear seat belts. The 13 percent of drivers and passengers in cars and light trucks who do not wear belts accounted for 44.7 percent of fatalities in 2014. It is estimated that 140 lives may be saved Memorial Day Weekend because of people wearing their seat belts and an additional 95 lives could be saved if all wore safety belts.

NSC recommends buckling up every trip, every time – even when traveling a short distance. To ensure a safe Memorial Day holiday, remember these tips when travelling this weekend:

  • Reduce your speed. More speeding-related fatalities occur during the summer months than any other time of year.
  • Refrain from using cell phones or devices – hands-free or handheld – when driving
  • Place children in age-appropriate safety seats
  • Designate a sober driver or take alternate transportation if you consume alcohol. Do not get behind the wheel. Impairment begins with the first dink
  • Drive defensively and exercise caution, especially during bad weather

Supplemental Memorial Day Holiday Traffic Fatality Estimate Detail


About the National Safety Council

Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council,, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety, prescription drug overdoses and Safe Communities.​​

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The National Safety Council eliminates preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy.

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