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Are you at risk of a Memorial Day auto accident?

Last year, the National Safety Council (NSC) predicted that over 400 individuals would die and another 47,000 would suffer serious injuries in auto accidents over the extended Memorial Day weekend.

Their estimates were higher than average to reflect a disturbing trend of increased highway deaths. The NSC pointed out that the recent years 2014 and 2016 showed the most marked two-year increase in highway deaths and injuries since 1964 -- 14 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

As a response, the NSC offers some safety tips for drivers on the holiday weekend:

  • Buckle up. The NSC estimates that 159 individuals might survive an otherwise lethal collision by wearing their seat belts.
  • Secure the kids. All child passengers should use child safety seats that are appropriate for their height, weight and ages.
  • Drive sober. If you're planning to imbibe this holiday weekend, make sure that your travel plans include a designated driver.
  • Beware of drowsy driving. If your Memorial Day festivities have you driving long distances, arrange to share the driving duties with another well-rested driver. If you're driving solo, take frequent breaks to make sure that you don't fall asleep behind the wheel.
  • Distractions are deadly. While texting while driving is particularly egregious, it's far from the only distracted-driving behavior of which to be aware. Anything that takes your eyes, hands or mind from the task at hand — driving — should be avoided.
  • Monitor teen driving. Part of being a good parent is being aware of where your teen is going and ensuring that their driving skill level is up to the task.
  • Familiarize yourself with your auto's features. The latest bells and whistles can't protect you if you don't know how to use these safety features.

Don't become a Memorial Day statistic. Stay safe on the roads and live to enjoy another Louisville summer.

Source: EHS Today, "NSC: 7 Driving Safety Tips for Memorial Day Weekend," Stephanie Valentic, accessed May 18, 2018

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