flags in a row, memorial day weekend

Is Memorial Day Weekend One of the Most Dangerous Weekends of the Year?

Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer, but it is also the beginning of what AAA calls the “100 Deadliest Days” of the year. Is this truly one of the most dangerous times of the year? And if so, why?

During our decades in practice, the attorneys at Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman have identified a number of factors that make Memorial Day weekend one of the most dangerous weekends for people in Shelby County, Tennessee, and Desoto and Tate counties in Mississippi. 

Three-Day Weekend Danger 

Memorial Day weekend is often the first time people have had an extra day off work when the weather is nice since September. Everyone wants to get outside and get a jump start on the summer season, but cutting loose comes with the risk of injury.

Nicer Weather Lulls People into a False Sense of Security

The weather may also play a role. People often assume winter weather leads to more accidents, but that is not the case. According to a survey by Michelin

  • Three-quarters of drivers (74%) falsely believe that summer has fewer accidents than other times of the year. Similarly, drivers are three times less likely to be vigilant, (e.g., alert and focused on immediate surroundings) while driving during summer months than during winter.
  • Eight in 10 drivers (81%) said they were less likely to drive cautiously (e.g., taking extra care with stopping and turning and paying attention to speed) in the summertime.
  • Nearly three-quarters (72%) said they were less likely to pay close attention to other drivers on the road in the summer compared to winter months.
  • Drivers are nearly three times less likely to check the condition of their tires in the summer.

This is not good news. Especially as travelers set out on summer vacations that put them in unfamiliar territory where they may not be able to avoid risks that are known to the locals. Accidents may be particularly common this year as numerous travel trendspotters say pent up demand is causing more people than ever to hit the road instead of sticking around home.

School’s Out for Summer 

One of the reasons AAA thinks Memorial Day kicks off the “100 Deadliest Days” is the fact that more teen drivers take to the road during their unstructured time. But teens aren’t the only ones suffering personal injuries during the summer months. 

During Memorial Day weekend and the rest of the summer Johns Hopkins says kids are at risk from:

  • Drowning and other water-related injuries
  • Sunburns
  • Head injuries
  • Trampoline injuries
  • Firework injuries; and 
  • Burns from the BBQ grill. 

The Lawyers That Listen

The Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman team hopes you and your family in Shelby County, Tennessee and Desoto, Marshall, Tunica, or Tate counties in Mississippi have a safe Memorial Day Weekend. 

Knowing the risk of injury increases this time of year should not deter you from celebrating this important holiday. It is a time to gather with family and friends to honor those who are no longer with us. 

If tragedy strikes, our experienced team of personal injury attorneys is ready to hear your story and help you get the compensation you deserve. Don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule an initial consultation. 

About the Author
Jefferson D. Gilder is a Partner at Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman and was admitted to the Mississippi and Tennessee Bars in 1990. Mr. Gilder is admitted to practice in all courts in Mississippi and Tennessee including Federal Court, the Fifth and Sixth Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Gilder's areas of practice include personal injury, criminal, medical malpractice, civil rights, and product liability. Mr. Gilder spent his first ten years as an attorney practicing with his father, Robert G. Gilder, at Gilder Law Firm in Southaven, Mississippi before forming Gilder, Howell & Assoc., P.A. with Jamie W. Howell, Jr. in June of 2000. This firm although as another legal entity has now combined their resources and experience with Chatham – Pittman, to form Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman. If you have any questions about this article, you can reach Jefferson through our contact page.