July Is Deadly Month for Crashes

NSC Estimates More Than 400 Road Fatalities on Memorial Day Weekend

May 24, 2018
NSC releases annual holiday roadway fatality estimates.

The upcoming Memorial Day weekend is a deadly one on the road.

The National Safety Council has released estimates indicating that 402 fatalities are expected during the holiday period, which which begins at 6 p.m. Friday, May 25, and ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 28.

“Memorial Day should mark the start of summer – not a deadly driving season,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, NSC president and CEO, in a statement. “If we pay attention, slow down and be courteous, we can increase our chances of making it to picnics, beaches and barbecues rather than emergency rooms.”

This is the second consecutive year the organization has forecast more than 400 roadway deaths. The NSC also indicates 45,800 people may be seriously injured on the roads this weekend.

When compared to Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day, the three summertime holidays – Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day – typically claim over 110 lives each day, the highest average per-day fatality rates, the NSC states.

The NSC's recommendations for a safer holiday weekend include:

  • Practice defensive driving. Buckle up, designate a sober driver or arrange alternative transportation, get plenty of sleep to avoid fatigue, and drive attentively, avoiding distractions. 
  • Recognize the dangers of drugged driving, including impairment from prescription opioids.
  • Stay engaged in teens’ driving habits. 
  • Learn about your vehicle’s safety systems and how to use them. 
  • Fix recalls immediately. 
  • Ask lawmakers and state leaders to protect travelers on state roadways. Read the State of Safety report to find out which states have the strongest and weakest traffic safety laws.
  • Join the Road to Zero coalition to understand how safety professionals are addressing motor vehicle fatalities.

Supplemental information about the Memorial Day holiday fatality estimates, and additional motor vehicle data and research, can be found at injuryfacts.nsc.org.

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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