Posted On: May 21, 2013 by Jeff Butschky

Memorial Day Weekend Driving in Maryland : Stay Sober, Avoid Alcohol Related Motor Vehicle Accidents

Long holiday weekends statistically rack up more fatal drunk driving crashes than normal weekends. According to national traffic accident data, Memorial Day Weekend is the deadliest of all holiday weekends on U.S. roads and highways. Statistics showing holiday weekend traffic crash fatalities in order of most people killed are as follows:

Memorial Day: 473 killed (42% alcohol impaired driving)
New Year's Day: 468 killed (40% alcohol impaired driving)
Thanksgiving: 411 killed (34% alcohol impaired driving)
Fourth of July: 410 killed (40% alcohol impaired driving)
Labor Day: 360 killed (38% alcohol impaired driving)
Christmas: 262 killed (37% alcohol impaired driving)

(Source: U.S. Dept. of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, FARS/GES 2009 Data Summary)

Memorial Day, historically, has been a day to remember those who've given their lives in the Armed Services as well as other loved ones who have passed away. It also signals the beginning of summer, and many Maryland workers get that Monday off.

Baltimore County car accident injury lawyers like us know that a long holiday weekend filled with summer kickoff cookouts and other get-togethers -- and lots of beer, wine, and cocktails flowing -- can turn disastrous in a heartbeat. The increased traffic volume on Memorial Day weekend makes driving in Maryland that much more challenging.

AAA Mid-Atlantic told The Baltimore Sun that we may see a slight decrease in Memorial Day 2013 traffic in Maryland. This may be due to steep gas prices. Still, heavy traffic is expected. The Sun reports:

The Maryland Transportation Authority anticipates 1.8 million motorists will use the state's toll roads, bridges and tunnels between Friday and Monday. The Fort McHenry Tunnel, Interstate 95 north of Baltimore and the twin spans of the Bay Bridge will bear the brunt of the traffic.

So please, give yourself plenty of time to travel this weekend, and whatever you do: Drive sober. Drive defensively. Be on the lookout for other Maryland drivers who may be speeding, weaving, tailgating, driving intoxicated, texting or using cell phones while driving -- or all of the above.

The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration reports that traffic accidents are the number-one killer of kids and young adults ages 4 to 34 in Md. -- more than homicides. A five-year average estimates 580 fatal crashes and more than 36,000 crashes with injuries on Maryland roadways every year. NHTSA reports that 162 people were killed in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents in Maryland in 2009. Memorial Day Weekend is statistically the riskiest holiday weekend to be on the road all year. Drive like your life -- and someone else's -- depends on it.

Related Baltimore Accident Injury Attorney Articles:

Maryland Bill Targets Drunk Drivers Who Transport Minors, Proposes Ignition Locks (Dec. 2012)

When Police Officers Deliver Tragic News : Someone Has Been Killed in a Maryland Drunk Driving Accident (Oct. 2011)

Sources:

State workers ready to untangle Memorial Day traffic snarls
The Baltimore Sun May 21, 2013

Maryland Crash Statistics
Maryland Dept. of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Administration

Fatality Analysis Reporting System : General Estimates System : 2009 DATA SUMMARY (PDF)
NHTSA.gov 2009