Traffic Safety in Focus this Holiday

According to National Geographic, Memorial Day signifies the start of the summer season, as well as a much-needed long weekend filled with activities like sporting events and barbecues. But that wasn’t the original purpose of the day—and its evolution over the years has been rife with controversy.

Celebrated on the last Monday in May, Memorial Day commemorates those who have lost their lives serving their country—unlike Veterans Day, on November 11, which celebrates all people who have served in the military. Since the end of the Civil War, when it was known as Decoration Day, the holiday has been marked by solemn parades and ceremonies and the placing of flowers on the graves of fallen service members.

Road Trips Are Up

Travel is a big part of Memorial Day and, according the AAA, Memorial Day road trips are up 6% over last year. 37.1 million Americans will drive to their destinations, an increase of more than 2 million. Gas prices are lower this holiday compared to last year, when the national average was more than $4 a gallon. Despite the lower prices at the pump, car travel this holiday will be shy of pre-pandemic numbers by about 500,000 travelers. 

Traffic Fatalities

Unfortunately, the National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 469 people may die on U.S. roads this Memorial Day holiday period. Holidays traditionally are a time of travel for families across the United States. Many choose car travel, which has the highest fatality rate of any major form of motorized transportation based on fatalities per passenger mile. Holidays are also often cause for celebrations involving alcohol consumption, a major contributing factor to motor-vehicle crashes.

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday in May. The holiday is always a 3.25-day weekend consisting of Friday evening, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. In 2023, the Memorial Day weekend extends from 6 p.m. Friday, May 26 to 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 29.

What You Can Do 

Driving the speed limit, wearing a seatbelt and designating a sober driver will help bring travelers home safely. Automated enforcement can also help create safer communities by reducing dangerous driving and lower speeds.

Find Out More 

Interested in using automated enforcement in your community? Contact Us: 888-666-4218, Ext. 6 for East Coast and Ext. 7 for West Coast.  We can also be reached at [email protected]