This Holiday Weekend, Don’t Take a Holiday From Safety

The buzz of excitement is becoming palpable. Maryland workers and families smell a long holiday weekend in the air. Come the end of Friday, most of us will be clocking out for a three-day weekend commemorating Memorial Day.

Along with holiday weekends comes travel for many. Roads not only can be busier and traffic more frustrating, but there is also the increased risk that holiday celebrations lead to more drunk drivers on the roads. Traffic safety advocates note how following even just one piece of simple advice could save more than 50 lives in Maryland this year.

If every person in every vehicle buckled their seat belt every time they are in the car, fewer lives would be lost here every year. It doesn’t get much easier than grabbing one’s seat belt strap and buckling up. Yet, every day, there are people who fail to take that basic step to protect not just their own lives, but the lives of other motorists.

Last year, unbelted vehicle occupants made up 36 percent of traffic fatalities. How many of those crash victims might still be alive if they had been wearing their seat belts? It is an emotionally complex question to ponder for those who are living with the loss of someone whom they know could be alive today if they’d buckled up.

As you and your family pack your car on Friday, maybe for a weekend-long trip to a lake place or a day-trip to visit family, don’t forget that seat belts are more important than remembering to pack the perfect swimsuit or lawn game. History shows that crashes do happen — often due to the hands of others. A personal injury attorney can help you hold a reckless driver accountable when they’ve caused you harm and loss.

You can try to mitigate the damage that others could cause, however, by using a seat belt and requiring that everyone in the vehicle buckles up. A backseat is dangerous too, and lives of those filling those backseats are just as valuable as those in the front. Even a successful lawsuit can’t undo the needless loss of a loved one and the regret one might feel for not demanding the use of seat belts in their car.