This weekend, an estimated 43 million people in America are on the move for the three-day holiday weekend – 1.5 million more than were tallied last year.
Memorial Day is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, and the Southeastern Florida shores of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach – are prime destinations for visitors flocking from every corner of the globe. Of those tens of millions of travelers, 88 percent are expected to drive, rather than fly or take a train.
To put it mildly, the roads are going to be more congested. Miami car accident lawyers at Ansara Law Personal Injury Attorneys know obviously anytime the number of vehicles on the roads increase, so too do the number of crashes.
Memorial Day is statistically the most deadly long holiday weekend of the year, averaging 321 deaths nationally over those three days, according to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System. Memorial Day Weekend 2019 is expected to be even more lethal. The National Safety Council estimates with 90 percent confidence the number of traffic deaths we can expect this weekend is somewhere between 340 and 420.
Miami Traffic Among Deadliest This Memorial Day Weekend
Drivers in Miami should be especially cautious, given a recent study by insurance research firm Cambridge Mobile Research, which ranked Miami No. 1 for distracted driving, with motorists inattentive for the longest stretches. Miami is No. 2 for overall most dangerous roads this weekend. The Hamptons, where New Yorkers flock en masse for Memorial Day weekend, was No. 1.
As for distraction, study authors asserted a stunning 64 percent of Miami drivers aren’t paying attention for at least 50 percent of the time they’re behind the wheel.
The No. 2 most dangerous ranking was based on a broader range of crash risk factors, such rates speeding, hard braking and actual crashes.
Miami Memorial Day Traffic Risks
The holiday weekend exacerbates the risk not only with increasing congestion, but with:
- Higher number of fatigued drivers, having traveled long distances for the vacation. Fatigued driving is known to mirror drunk driving in its physical/reactionary effects. Add to that a couple of cranky, cramped children or hours-long traffic jams in record head – that becomes a recipe for road rage.
- An influx of tourists unfamiliar with traffic patterns, streets and some Florida traffic laws. For example, U-turns are a way of life in Florida traffic, but in most other states, they are strictly prohibited. This is the kind of thing that can throw a driver off – even if just for a few seconds. It can be especially dangerous at intersections and amid heavy traffic.
- Drunk driving (as well as drunk boating) also to be a big problem in Miami throughout Memorial Day Weekend.
In addition to Miami and the Hamptons, other cities with heightened road hazards are:
- Nashville, TN
- Charleston, SC
- Atlanta, GA
- Indianapolis, IN
Interestingly, if you’re traveling long distances, the research firm found local roads may be more treacherous this weekend because a lot of other people can find those “shortcuts” also and are using the rural landscape (i.e., less law enforcement) as an opportunity to speed. This is an especially big problem in Atlanta, Chicago and the Hamptons.
Miami car accident attorneys would advise any long-distance travelers looking to curb their crash risk should leave early, have their destination clearly mapped and maintain a safe distance from the cars ahead of you.
Call Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
Memorial Day weekend traffic: These are the most dangerous U.S. cities for driving, May 24, 2019, By Melissa Lock, Fast Company
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Florida’s New Tougher Texting-While-Driving Law May Save Cyclists’ Lives, May 22, 2019, Miami Car Accident Lawyer Blog