Is Summer Holiday Road Travel Safe?

Summer holiday weekends are among the deadliest times on American roads, bringing safety to the forefront for New York residents.

With the Memorial Day weekend, people in New York and around the country all but unofficially welcome the beginning of summer. From this holiday weekend lasting three days through the equally long Labor Day weekend in early September, many people in the region will pack their cars and jump in for a road trip. They may also have friends and relatives who do the same to come and see them. But, just how safe is this practice?

Holiday weekends can be deadly

Value Penguin provided statistics based on records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System that shows a marked increase in the number of people killed in motor vehicle accidents on select holiday weekends compared to the average weekend. The data was taken from the years 2011 to 2015.

Across the country, a normal weekend sees an average of 250 vehicular deaths, of which slightly more than 29 percent happen in accidents involving alcohol. Over Memorial Day weekend, the fatality count goes up to 312 and more than 40 percent of those deaths are linked to alcohol.

On the Fourth of July, 38.5 percent of the 307 deaths that happen on average are said to occur in crashes in which alcohol was a noted factor. Closing out the summer is Labor Day with an average of 308 automotive fatalities. The percent of those deaths involving alcohol is just over 36 percent.

These three summer holiday weekends see more people killed on the road than the New Year’s holiday when an average of 245 people died each year during the reporting time reviewed.

2018 sees spike in holiday road travel

Travel Agent Central reported that despite rising fuel prices, this year’s Memorial Day weekend was expected to see a jump in the number of people travelling by car. New York was even among the top expected destinations. That means that even people in their vehicles simply for local or normal trips, not just road trips, could be at an increased risk of car accidents because of the greater number of cars on the road.

New York’s auto fatality statistics

According to the NHTSA, 2016 saw the lowest number of deaths on New York’s roads in many years. Even still, 1,025 people lost their lives statewide. When stopping to think about the families left behind and the funerals and memorial services involved, it becomes clear that this is still far too many deaths.

People in New York who are involved in accidents on any weekend including a holiday weekend should always contact an attorney. Doing this will provide them with someone on their side who can advise them on their options for compensation.