NSC Estimates Memorial Day 2020 Traffic Fatalities
Every year, the National Safety Council (NSC) estimates traffic fatalities for holiday periods throughout the year by comparing fatality data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) for the holiday in question to similar length periods. The period assessed for Memorial Day is from 6 p.m. Friday to 11:59 p.m. Monday. This year’s estimate is based on data from 1995 to 2018 for comparable weekends.
When analysts compared the deaths over Memorial Day weekends from 1995-2018 to comparable weekends, they found that over the last six years, Memorial Day had a 9.4% higher than average number of traffic deaths. This is considered statistically significant.
Using a time series model built on 48 months of traffic deaths recorded from April, 2016 through March 2020, the NSC forecasts an estimate of 366 total traffic deaths for Memorial Day weekend, 2020.
If you or a loved one is injured in a Memorial Day traffic accident because of the reckless or negligent behavior of another driver, you are entitled to a car accident settlement that covers your medical bills, property damage, disability and lost wages, if appropriate. You are also entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. If a fatality occurs, funeral expenses, loss of services and other damages may also be recovered.
What are Memorial Day traffic fatalities compared to other holidays?
The NSC also compares the Memorial Day holiday to other holiday periods by using an average fatality per day rate. Overall, the Memorial Day holiday and the summer holidays (Independence Day and Labor Day) have higher average fatality rates per day compared to the fall and winter holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day).
How will COVID-19 affect Memorial Day 2020 traffic fatalities?
While many Memorial Day barbeques have been cancelled this year and traffic is generally down due to COVID-19, we still need to be vigilant on the roads. Some motor vehicle accident risk factors have actually increased during this time. In fact, collisions per million miles driven is up 20 percent since stay at home orders began in March.
Here are some of the risky behaviors that have increased during COVID-19:
- Americans are drinking way more than normal. Sales data shows a spike in alcohol purchases, particularly for light beer.
- Drivers are speeding more on empty roads (up 27 percent).
- Drivers are hard braking (up 25 percent).
- Drivers are spending more time on cell phones while driving (up 38 percent).
The bottom line is that emptier roads have made many drivers more cavalier and this is increasing the risk of serious injury accidents, including fatalities. We all need to avoid risky driving behaviors such as drinking and driving and distracted driving and be aware of the drivers around us by driving defensively. Stay safe out there this Memorial Day!
Seek the help of a car accident attorney
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!