When three-day weekends, like Memorial Day and Labor Day, come our way, it’s time to do a bit of celebrating. The problem is, however, that these holidays are closely associated with some of the highest car accident rates. When motorists let their hair down, accidents become more likely. If another driver’s negligence leaves you injured, don’t wait to consult with an experienced South Carolina car accident attorney.
The National Safety Council’s Injury Facts shares some seriously sobering facts related to three-day holiday weekends and car accidents.
Heavy Car Travel
Three-day holiday weekends are all about spending time with friends, family, and loved ones, and most of us head out by car, which is the mode of transportation with the highest fatality rate (per passenger mile traveled). The more traffic there is out there, the greater the chances that car accidents will happen.
Holidays like Memorial Day and Labor Day are also closely associated with celebrations (like backyard barbeques) that involve alcohol, which plays a pivotal role in far too many car accidents. In 2018, 29 percent of all fatal car accidents involved alcohol impairment. During the long Labor Day weekend, however, 38 percent of all fatal car accidents involved alcohol impairment, a considerable and frightening increase.
When you combine increased traffic with three-day weekend holiday revelry, it can be a recipe for danger.
Other Forms of Driver Negligence
While impaired drivers are some of the most dangerous drivers out there, driver negligence can come in a variety of dangerous forms (that can all be enhanced by the long holiday weekend).
While Memorial Day and Labor Day both provide us with an additional day of vacation, three days still translates to a quick trip if you’re traveling much of a distance, which can lead to distracted driving. Further, as our lives become more and more complicated, we all tend to experience more distractions. When motorists get behind the wheel, however, they owe everyone with whom they share the road a duty of care that includes driving distraction-free. When motorists turn to their phones behind the wheel, they breach that duty of care, and accidents become far more likely.
While three-day weekends are meant to be relaxing, all the preparation and travel can be exhausting, meaning motorists are more likely to be fatigued, and fatigued drivers experience many of the same kinds of impairment as drunk drivers, which means they can be just as dangerous.
People are in a hurry to get to their destinations over the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, and when motorists let this affect their speed, it can spell serious danger. The fact is that speed plays a primary role in way too many car accidents, and long holiday weekends are no exception.
As fun and relaxing as holiday weekends are, they can also bring out the worst in drivers who are irritated by the heavy traffic (or by any other inconvenience that they choose to take personally). Aggressive drivers often engage in multiple dangerous driving practices at any given time, including:
- Zipping in and out of traffic
- Passing dangerously, which can include passing on the left or even on the shoulder
- Refusing to yield the right-of-way
- Refusing to adhere to the rules of the road, including failing to respond appropriately to traffic signs, lights, and signals
- Tailgating other drivers
- Attempting to engage other motorists via obscene gestures, verbal taunts, or incessant honking
- Dangerously cutting off other drivers
Aggressive drivers are arguably the most dangerous drivers out there.
If You’re Injured in a Car Accident
If you’re injured in a car accident over a long holiday weekend, it is a terrible end to what should have been an enjoyable mini-vacation or mini-staycation. While your accident will be unique to the circumstances involved, there are some first steps that you should take to help protect both your car accident claim and your health. These include:
- Steer your car as far out of traffic and toward safety as you possibly can.
- Call 911.
- Leave your car and, if you are able, render aid to anyone in need.
- Accept the medical attention you are offered on the scene. If none is offered, seek medical care as soon as you are able to do so.
- Refrain from speaking about the accident unless the attending officer asks you questions directly, in which case, you should answer truthfully and without excess elaboration.
- If you are able to gather evidence, such as taking pictures that capture pertinent details and obtaining eyewitness testimony (in addition to contact information), do so.
- Consult with an experienced car accident attorney at your earliest opportunity.
Obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled is very important to your ability to recover fully.
Your Legal Damages
If another driver’s negligence leaves you injured over a three-day weekend, seeking just compensation is paramount, and the categories of damage that apply can include:
- Medical costs – The medical costs associated with a serious car accident can quickly become overwhelming. Examples include emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, doctor care, pain management, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and much more.
- Lost earnings – Lost wages often accompany serious injuries, and if your injuries interfere with your ability to perform your job, it can translate to considerable losses in earning potential.
- Pain and suffering – One of the most difficult damages to conquer can be the physical and emotional pain and suffering that the car accident forces you to endure.
An Experienced South Carolina Car Accident Attorney Can Help
If what should be an enjoyable holiday weekend culminates in a car accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, the practiced car accident attorneys at McCravy Law in South Carolina have the experience, drive, and resources to help. Your claim is important, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 864-388-9100 today.