Memorial Day Holiday Traffic Accidents Projected to Rise Over Weekend in California

41.5 million Americans to hit the road for Memorial Day weekend

  • Average price of gas in California at $3.72 per gallon (
  • Avoid traveling Thursday and Friday afternoons as traffic is heaviest
  • Projected 402 roadway deaths on Memorial Day weekend this year

 Memorial Day Holiday Traffic in California Leads to Collisions and CongestionCALIFORNIA (May 22, 2018)  — Record numbers of drivers will hit the road this Memorial Day weekend as we head into summer.

Roughly 41.5 million people will travel over the holiday weekend, according to AAA. This year is expected to have a 5 percent increase in travelers compared to 2017 and the highest level of travelers in more than a dozen years.

Travelers should expect major delays as they join commuters in the afternoon rush hour. In fact, AAA estimates a typical drive time would be three times longer than normal on the busiest days (Thursday, May 24 and Friday, May 25). Higher gas prices are also expected over the weekend and the cost of pretty much everything else from parking fees to hotels is expected to rise over the holiday weekend.

Traffic Accidents Increase Over Holiday Weekend

Memorial weekend dui crashesDespite efforts to ensure traveler safety, some 402 people are expected to die in traffic accidents over the busy Memorial Day weekend — a period that begins at 6 p.m. Friday, May 25, and ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 28, according to statistics compiled by the National Safety Council.  Our roadways are expected to be packed with motorists throughout the weekend and drunk driving is a major concern. Roughly a third of all deaths in California are due to DUI crashes.

Additionally, the NSC predicts roughly 45,800 people could be seriously injured over the 3-day holiday period.

“It’s advisable that drivers take steps to minimize their chances of being in a collision this weekend by avoiding high-traffic drive times, don’t drive late at night when motorists may be drunk and ensure your vehicle is safe,” said Attorney James Johnson, a California accident lawyer. “At the very least, don’t forget to wear your seat belt at all times.”

Indeed, starting on May 21 through June 3, police across the country are stepping up seat belt enforcement as part of the “Click it or Ticket” program and the 2018 National Seat Belt Enforcement Mobilization. On average, nearly 15,000 lives are saved by those age 5 years and older who wore their seat belts every year, according to Traffic Safety Monitoring.

Memorial Day Motorcycle Safety

 motorcycle This month (May) is also Motorcycle Awareness Month and for a good reason. Motorcyclists are the most vulnerable motorists on our roadway and as traffic and drunk driving increase, so do the dangers of them being involved in a collision.

In 2017, CBS News predicted Memorial Day weekend would claim the lives of 400 people on U.S. highways, but about 22 percent of those deaths were motorcyclists.

Indeed, motorcycle fatalities are typically much higher than deaths by people in other types of vehicles. According to the Insurance Information Institute’s latest data a rider is 27 times more likely to die in a crash based on the number of deaths per miles traveled than a person in another vehicle. Statistics also show that motorcycle deaths increased by 8.3 percent between 2014 to 2015.

Safety Tips for Motorcyclists

  • Equip your bike with anti-lock brakes
  • Never drink, use drugs and drive
  • Use headlights day and night
  • Never speed
  • Avoid distractions
  • Wear protective clothing (boots, gloves, jacket)

Boating Under the Influence

speedboat on waterOver Memorial Day weekend, boat owners typically flock to our California waterways to enjoy themselves, but unfortunately many of them have not performed safety checks on their equipment, their boating skills are rusty or they think it’s okay to drink and drive on the water. In California, boaters enjoy our many lakes, rivers and the ocean. Typically, boating accidents involve recklessness such as speeding, distractions or drunken or drugged drivers. Collisions among boaters, including personal watercraft riders, is also common among inexperienced operators.

Johnson Attorneys Group is a proud, longtime supporter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). We are committed to helping people who are victims of these types of collisions. 

If you have legal questions and would like to speak with an attorney, please call us to request a free consultation at  855-703-4186. 




James Johnson

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