ASK GARY: What should I be thinking about this Memorial Day weekend?
As the unofficial start of the summer, Memorial Day weekend is a chance for friends and family to get together and enjoy each other’s company, and remember the men and women who have paid the ultimate price protecting our country. It’s been a particularly tough year, and the weather’s inability to settle on a season hasn’t helped, so it will be nice to finally settle into that summer rhythm.
On a more somber note, this Memorial Day is estimated to have 407 traffic related fatalities, and 43,500 injuries, according to the National Safety Council.
This upcoming weekend has historically been one of the most dangerous holidays for travelers, with the combination of heavy traffic and cars full of family members making driving more stressful, and accidents more deadly. With the number of estimated fatalities this holiday season being almost four times higher than the average day, it can’t hurt to take every precaution imaginable.
I’ve mentioned several of these tips before, but it also can’t hurt to repeat myself: be sure the driver is not impaired by alcohol (better safe than sorry in this case), don’t be a distracted driver, keep your tires are properly inflated, and have a roadside emergency kit ready in your car. My readers should be familiar with these suggestions, but as always, the first step to preparing for danger is to simply be aware that it might be coming. Hearing that a friend got into an accident is also sure to put a damper on your weekend spirits, so be sure to warn everyone around you as to the potential dangers on the road.
In case you haven’t been watching TV lately, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is in the midst of its “Click It or Ticket” campaign, encouraging all drivers to put on their seatbelts. As I’ve noted before, Massachusetts drivers are the worst in the country at seatbelt usage, meaning that these commercials have a special place for us in their heart. Information on seatbelt safety can be found here, but for the practical readers, wearing your seatbelt, especially throughout the rest of this month, is an easy way to avoid getting a traffic ticket.
Drive safe –it’s the best way to ensure that you have a good Memorial Day weekend!