5 Driving Safety Tips Ahead of Memorial Day Weekend
May 21, 2019
Memorial Day weekend is hailed as the unofficial beginning of summer, and Michiganders are ready to celebrate. Whether it’s a day at the beach or a family BBQ, we appreciate the respite from our workday routine. However, many people don’t realize this is among the deadliest weekends for motorists. In fact, drivers and passengers are four times more likely to die in a crash during Memorial Day weekend than at any other time. Here are some holiday driving safety tips to help you stay accident-free.
Fasten Your Seat Belts
It’s a well-publicized fact that seat belts save lives. Yet, each year thousands of people die in car crashes because they were not wearing one.
“Click It or Ticket”
From May 20 – June 2, law enforcement officials will conduct their annual campaign, sponsored by the NHTSA. For two weeks, officers from police and sheriff’s departments across the country will increase patrols to enforce seat belt use. Adults who are caught driving without seatbelts may be fined $65, plus associated local fees.
Here are the Michigan laws regarding seat belts and car seats:
- Drivers, front-seat passengers and passengers 15 and younger riding in any seat are required to buckle up.
- Children must be buckled in an appropriately-sized car seat or booster seat until they are eight years old or 4’9” tall.
- Children four and under must be in the back seat.
When something causes you to take your mind, hands or eyes off the road, you are guilty of distracted driving. Common distractions include:
- Using a cell phone, including hands-free
- Programming a navigation system
- Adjusting a radio or other audio device
- Eating or drinking
- Applying make-up or shaving
- Attending to children or passengers
It’s against Michigan law to manually text while driving. However, motorists should avoid all distracting activities when they are behind the wheel.
Don’t Drive Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
In addition to alcohol, your ability to drive safely can be affected by many other substances. Prescription drugs, marijuana and some over-the-counter medications can impair your coordination, reaction time and judgment. The same is true of illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. Further, combining drugs with alcohol can amplify the effects of both, often with deadly consequences.
Remember, impaired driving is not only dangerous; it’s against the law in every state.
When you speed, you endanger everyone on the road. Almost 10,000 people died in speed-related accidents in 2017, coming in at 26% of all traffic fatalities that year. In Michigan, 23% of fatal crashes were caused by speeding.
More Holiday Driving Safety Tips
- Plan your route, allow extra time for heavy holiday traffic.
- Don’t drive when you’re tired. On longer trips, take breaks or stop overnight if you feel drowsy.
- Choose a designated driver for your group if you plan on drinking. Or, if you are unable to get home safely, call a ride service, a taxi or a friend.
- When you take medication, read the warning labels before driving. Don’t drive after taking drugs that can make you drowsy, dizzy or light-headed.
Michigan auto accident laws are complicated, but finding the right lawyer is simple.
Call 1-800-CALL-SAM today for a free no-obligation consultation.