Memorial Day weekend – from the east coast of Virginia Beach, VA to the western part of Virginia at Roanoke – was a time of celebration and relaxation for many, but for the families and friends of ten people who died in automobile accidents over the holiday, it was a time of mourning.

Virginia roads saw ten deaths over the holiday weekend-six car accidents, three motorcycle accidents, and one pedestrian accident. Failure to wear a seat belt was a factor in six of the crashes.  

We sympathize with families of the victims and send out deepest condolences out to them. It is never easy to lose a loved one, especially in the sudden and unexpected manner of automobile accidents.

While we look forward to holidays, time off and relaxing with families and friends, we should also exercise extra caution during these times.  Statistically, it is more dangerous to be on the roads during the holidays. 

According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “speeding-related crash fatalities….are higher during holiday periods when compared to the overall percentage of the year.” The study, which analyzes fatal crashes between 1994 and 2003, further reports that “January 1 and July 4 were the two days with the most speeding-related crash fatalities.”

This Memorial Day, Virginia State Police had their hands full from I-64, 1-81 and I-95.  The Roanoke Times reports that “officers investigated 646 traffic crashes, gave out 10,592 tickets for speeding and 2,609 tickets for reckless driving, arrested and charged 121 drivers with driving under the influence, contacted 1,007 adults who were not wearing seat belts and identified 307 children not properly restrained.”  

Our firm believes these numbers are way too high.  As drivers, we need to step up and take simple preventative measures to make our roads safer.  Another holiday – July 4 – is fast approaching. Driving the speed limit, wearing your seat belt, and driving sober are just a few of many things drivers can do to keep themselves and others safe while enjoying the holidays.