Memorial Day Weekend-Increased Risks of Auto & Boat Accidents Near St. Louis, Missouri
Posted on May 24th, 2013 by Zane Cagle
Memorial Day Weekend is the official beginning of summer! Since it has been a long winter in Missouri, we are all excited to get summer underway. Compared to other holidays, Memorial Day weekend traditionally has a higher number of alcohol related car accident, second to Fourth of July holiday. The National Safety Council says that Memorial Day weekend has averaged 11.5% increase in auto accidents compared to other weekends. Alcohol consumption is a part of the holiday weekend and I am in no means saying don’t drink—I am saying, not to drink and drive whether it is a car or a boat!
This weekend will be the first weekend that many get out on the lakes in Missouri. Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of boating season. Accidents on the water do not seem to make the news like an auto accident or a semi-accident, but that doesn’t make them any less dangerous.
In January of 2011, the Department of Public Safety announced the merger of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Missouri State Water Patrol. According to Governor Nixon, it is a seamless way for the statewide law enforcement to patrol the state’s waterways and roadway. Sobriety checkpoints will no doubt be in place on many state highways and waterways.
In 2012, the U.S. Forest Service estimated that 82 million people participated in boating in 2010 and their statistics indicated that 736 people died in drowning accidents that same year. Alcohol consumption is a factor in 35 to 50% of all boating and drowning accidents.
At our firm, we want to raise your awareness about responsible alcohol use—that kind of sounds like a contradiction doesn’t it? Consuming alcohol means that you simply have a plan in place before you start drinking so that you are not in a situation where you are climbing behind the wheel of a boat, car or any other vehicle. A sound plan is to NOT survey the group of party attendees on the boat for “who is the most sober?” once out on the water…………..this is sure way to get a DUI ticket or be involved in an accident that ends all weekend fun. Determine in advance who will be drinking. Some other helpful suggestions to sustain you through the weekend:
- Be certain that your vehicle is in good working order, be it your car or your boat
- Plan your activities as far as who will not be drinking and who will be drinking. Generally, we do not make the best decisions once we start drinking, so plan ahead and maybe have a sober person take the keys from others while they are drinking or before they start to drink.
- Do not drink with abandon—this can be a difficult one. If you are on the water and in the sun, take lots of hydrating beverages, such as water so that you are not completely dehydrated.
- If children are around, be certain there are enough sober adults to respond to a child emergency. Should a child be hurt or become sick, there needs to be a good ratio of sober adults per child in case an emergency room run is needed. As well, that means there needs to be another adult there to supervise the other children.
- Designate a sober driver in advance and enough sober adults in case an emergency should occur.
- Plan, plan, plan—before your party begins, plan a safe route for your travel whether it is to the local hotel or to your home. Be sure you know how you will be traveling so that you do not climb behind the wheel a drive after having a few drinks. The largest number of accident occurs when someone thinks, “I’ve just had a few”. Having “a few” will easily put you over the legal limit of .08 and land you a DUI citation or worse, a life changing accident
So, enjoy the Memorial Day Weekend and let summer begin! Be safe out there on Missouri highways and waterways!
At our firm, we know accidents happen on the water and on the highway; however, the alcohol factor is one of the most preventable types of factors in an auto accident or a boating accident. If you or a member of your family has been the victim in an auto or boat accident, and you believe that alcohol was a factor, you will need a personal injury attorney. Unfortunately, we see far more of these accidents than we care to and we uniquely understand the tragic consequences of drinking and operating a vehicle. For more information, call our attorneys, locally (314) 276-1681 or toll free (314) 276-1681 for a free consultation.