Memorial Day Travel Expected To Reach 10 Year High
Memorial Day Travel This Year Is Predicted To Be The Highest In Over 10 Years, Unfortunately more cars, trucks and RV’s means more accidents and injuries.
According to the Automobile Club of America (AAA), national travel by car this Memorial Day weekend, and summer, is most likely due to reduced fuel costs. AAA estimates that 2015 will be the highest travel volume by road for Memorial Day weekend in over 10 years. 1.45 million Ohioans are expected to travel at least 50 miles Memorial Day Weekend, an increase of 4.7 percent from 2014. While we look at this weekend as a time to honor our fallen military heroes and the unofficial start of summer, with an increase in roadway traffic also mean an increase in highway auto accidents and pedestrian accidents.
According to AA, the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the deadliest of the year, AAA states. July typically is the most dangerous month for traveling by road, but Memorial Day Weekend is also a dangerous time. Safety experts state that not only is Memorial Day Weekend dangerous for speeding and driving while intoxicated, but distracted driving from cell phone use has increased significantly.
The Ohio State Patrol states that more Ohio residents will be killed in traffic accidents this summer than in previous years. Safety experts indicate that summer accidents are on the rise, as fatalities and injuries starting Memorial Day have increased in recent years. In 2012, there were 14 fatalities in Ohio during Memorial Day weekend, but in 2013, those fatalities rose to 18. In 2014, the accidents again reached 14 for one weekend.
According to the Ohio State Patrol, more accidents occur during the summer months in Ohio and across the nation. Officials call the cause of accidents and fatalities on the road the “fatal four,” which consists of speeding, driving while intoxicated, failing to wear a seatbelt, and distracted driving. Crash data shows that during the summer, drivers are more likely to crash due to one of these fatal four mistakes. More teen drivers and holiday travel increase the risk for all four factors, even for individuals who follow all safety precautions. Combined with the high volume of traffic seen Memorial Day weekend and throughout the summer, it makes sense that accidents are more common during this time of year. However, that does not explain why the rate of accidents and fatalities are increasing. Experts believe a different cause may be behind the increase in traffic fatalities in Ohio.
Nationally, traffic fatalities have increased 11 percent during the first three months of 2015 to 8,250, the National Safety Council reports. According to the report, men between the ages of 18 and 34 are at the highest risk from traffic fatalities during this period because of what the Department of Transportation calls the “invincible demographic.” Young men tend to speed and take other risks in driving because they do not believe they will get into an accident or be injured. National Transportation Safety Board reports that injury costs from traffic accidents across the nation this year have increased by 26 percent over 2014.
The National Transportation Safety Board states that low fuel prices, higher traffic volume, and more total miles traveled have contributed to the increases in traffic accidents. As these trends continue, Ohio officials expect even more fatalities and traffic accidents Memorial Day weekend and throughout the summer. According to the National Safety Council, about 380 people are expected to die in Memorial Weekend traffic crashes this year.