What should I know before I travel this Memorial Day weekend?

Memorial Day weekend is coming up. This extra-long, holiday weekend often serves as an excuse to get together with friends and family to celebrate the start of summer. Celebrations can include increased travel and consumption of alcohol, both of which are known to increase the risk of car accidents — and severe car accidents have been on the rise in recent years. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the rate of fatal car accidents have increased dramatically since 2015.

With all this in mind, the NSC has stated this Memorial Day weekend may see a spike in serious car accidents. Before we dive into exact numbers, it is important to note that government agencies like the NSC have voiced concern about the accuracy of their estimates due to the pandemic. The NSC states it has a 90% confidence in its estimates. What does this mean? The agency recognizes the need to account for the fact that COVID-19 may have an unforeseen impact on the actual numbers.

What were the NSC’s estimates for Memorial Day Weekend accidents in 2021?

The NSC estimates car accidents during this time period will result in up to 57,200 injuries that require medical attention and 502 fatalities.

What type of impact could COVID-19 have on these numbers?

Some who travel over Memorial Day weekend may choose to drive instead of fly in the belief that this will reduce their risk of exposure to the virus. This could lead to people driving for further distances and an increase in traffic, further raising the risk of accidents.

What if I am involved in a car accident?

Those who are injured or lose a loved one in a car accident and believe the other driver was responsible may have options to hold that driver accountable. One option is a civil lawsuit. This lawsuit can result in funds to help cover the expenses of the accident, including the cost of an emergency response team, additional medical care, and lost wages as well as the cost to repair or replace your vehicle.