ITASCA, IL – The National Safety Council today released its estimates of fatalities from traffic crashes for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend, beginning at 6 pm on Friday, May 23, and ending at 11:59 pm on Monday, May 26. The Council estimates 382 traffic fatalities and another 40,900 medically consulted injuries may occur over the traditional summer kick-off weekend from motor vehicle collisions.
“Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer celebrations, but sadly, we know this long holiday weekend will end with too many preventable deaths and injuries,” said Deborah Hersman, NSC president and CEO. “We issue these estimates to draw attention to risks on the roadways and encourage drivers to take extra precautions so needless tragedies can be prevented.”
Studies have shown that safety belts are 45 percent effective in preventing fatalities. It is estimated that 139 lives may be saved Memorial Day Weekend because of people wearing their safety belts.
To ensure a safe Memorial Day celebration, NSC recommends buckling up every trip, every time – even when traveling a short distance. Be sure to also keep these tips in mind before heading out the door:
Refrain from all cell phone use – both hands-free and handheld – behind the wheel
Place children in age-appropriate safety seats
Do not drink and drive as impairment begins with the first drink – if you drink, designate a sober driver or take alternate transportation
Drive defensively and exercise caution, especially during bad weather