Why the span between Memorial Day and Labor Day is so deadly

On Behalf of | May 25, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Many refer to the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day as the “100 Deadliest Days” on the nation’s roads. This span sees a significant increase in traffic fatalities and accidents.

Several factors contribute to this trend, making it helpful for drivers to stay vigilant and practice safe driving habits.

Increased traffic and travel

A key reason for the spike in road accidents during this time is the increase in traffic. Memorial Day and Labor Day bookend the summer. This is a season when families take vacations, students are out of school and many attend various events and gatherings. The surge in road trips, combined with heavier traffic, creates more opportunities for accidents. Highways and local roads alike become more congested.

More teen drivers

Summer also brings more inexperienced teen drivers onto the roads. With school out, teenagers have more free time. Many use this period to gain driving experience. However, their lack of experience and sometimes risky behavior can lead to a higher incidence of accidents. Teens are more likely to engage in dangerous driving practices, such as speeding and distracted driving. These actions further increase the risk of crashes.

Alcohol and substance use

Another factor contributing to the dangerous driving conditions during the summer months is the increased use of alcohol and other substances. Holidays like Memorial Day and Labor Day often involve celebrations, barbecues and parties where people drink alcohol. This can lead to a higher number of impaired drivers on the roads. Driving under the influence impairs judgment and reaction times, making it a leading cause of accidents during this period.

Distracted driving

Distracted driving remains a major issue throughout the year. However, it tends to peak during the summer months. With more people on the road, drivers face distractions from their surroundings, mobile devices and passengers. Texting while driving, in particular, poses a severe threat. This is because it takes the driver’s attention away from the road for several seconds, increasing the risk of accidents.

Per WTNH, Connecticut teens between 15 and 19 found themselves involved in 3,200 crashes in the state in 2022. These crashes produced 45 serious injuries and 16 road deaths. Practicing defensive driving, staying sober behind the wheel and minimizing distractions can help reduce the number of accidents, injuries and fatalities during this span.