Memorial Day Weekend- Official Start to Summer Traffic
Posted on May 24th, 2019 by Zane Cagle
Memorial Day Weekend Safety
Memorial Day is to honor the men and women who died serving in the U.S. military. It’s a day to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. It is also the unofficial beginning of summer in the Midwest and a three-day weekend for many. As the first three-day holiday kicking off summer, traffic on the roadways and waterway will be far more busy. Typically, Memorial Day weekend is a busy weekend for highway troopers and water troopers due to an increased number of motor vehicle crashes, impaired drivers and boating violations.
As part of the festivities, alcohol is a frequent addition to most gatherings. As always, when planning celebratory get-togethers we must plan safe transportation home. The Missouri State Highway Patrol will be participating in Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort beginning on Friday, May 24, 2019 until Monday, May 27, 2019. Every available trooper will be on the road enforcing traffic laws and assisting motorists. They have informed the public they will be conducting speed and driving-while-intoxicated saturations (stops) and watching for hazardous motor vehicle operations.
Don’t drink and drive–celebrate as hard as you like, but do have a safe transportation plan home. Be sure you have a designated driver or plan your way home through a ride share such as Uber or Lyft. The designated driver should be the person who has had no alcohol opposed to the one in the group that is ‘least drunk’. Every major traffic holiday, we post safety articles as a reminder. Our hope is that if just a few people read and heed the safety warnings, we can have one or two fewer motor vehicle crashes.
Plan ahead. Traffic on the interstates and highways is always far more busy on holiday weekends opposed to other weekends, so plan accordioning. Inpatient and reckless driving results in car crashes. Failure to pay close attention and inattentive driving are the greatest contributors to car collisions. On interstates, stay in the right lane unless you are passing. Unbeknownst to many is the fact that the left lane is for passing. Following that rule helps traffic flow better and reduces the number of crashes.
Buckle Up– Missouri is still one of the states where too few people use a seat belt. Based on accident reports, too many still don’t buckle up. Granted, auto manufacturers never promise that a seat belt will keep you from being injured in a crash. The seat belt is in place to keep occupants in their seats which greatly increases likelihood of surviving a crash. Wearing a seat belt keeps you in the vehicle. Once ejected, the rate of serious injury or death increases dramatically.
To date, it has been a rough month in Missouri waterways. There have been several drownings in rivers and lakes in Missouri and high waters due to flooding are creating more dangerous situations. The Missouri Patrol emphasizes the importance of wearing life preservers for people of all ages. Even adults who swim very well can become overwhelmed when water is high and currents are swift. Thus far in 2019, Missouri State Patrol lists 13 drownings in Missouri. Swim safety is of paramount concern for adults and children.
Wear a life vest– the patrol encourages everyone to wear life vests while the boating, kayaking or swimming in natural waterways such as rivers, quarries and lakes.
Don’t drink and boat. Specifically, if you are consuming alcohol and operating a boat, water patrol will be looking for you. As last summer saw there were 14 boating accidents including 10 injuries and a fatality in Missouri. Two people drowned last summer and at least 17 people were arrested for boating while intoxicated.
Don’t bring down your own celebration by acting unsafely. Drive safely on the roadways and waterways, pay attention, be courteous and obey the law and make everyone’s holiday a safe one. If you are involved in a motor vehicle crash, follow the same procedures as any other day.
It is critical that you call emergency personel immediately after a crash. Don’t hesitate or wait to see if the other driver wants to “work it out”. Failure to report a crash is a receipe for disaster if you end up being injured. Countless times I talk with people who right after a crash thought they were okay only to discover several hours later that they were hurt. Thus, call the police and share insurance information. If you are phsycially able to do so, exchange contact and insruance information with the other driver, take photos of your vehicle at the crash scene (if safe to do so) and get the names and contact information of any witnesses. Clearly, if you are seriously injured, you will not be able to run around and gather all of this information. The emergency personel will gather this information for their report.
After seeking immediate medical treatment, consult an attorney. You should call an attorney BEFORE you start having conversations with any insurance carrier.
We are available seven days a week toll free 1.8.685.3302 or locally 314.257.0214