This upcoming Memorial Day weekend, many Oklahomans will travel around or out of the state to various celebrations and festivities. Memorial Day is typically known as the start of the summer vacation season, and this will be the first time this year many Oklahomans will get to travel to nearby lakes or other destinations. In response to the increased traffic on the roadways this upcoming weekend, Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers will be out in force and will focus on speeding, driving under the influence, and seat belt violations.
Overall, traffic accidents and fatalities on Memorial Day weekend have been declining in recent years. Last Memorial Day weekend, there were 423 car crashes that resulted in 7 deaths throughout Oklahoma. Compared to 2008 when there were 587 crashes that resulted in 15 deaths, the numbers have steadily improved. “Memorial Day weekend fatalities have been on a steady decline the past three years and we would like to see that trend continue”, quoted one Oklahoma Highway Patrol officer.
Do not let this decline in numbers persuade you too much, however. The fact of the matter is that the amount of car crashes and deaths on Memorial Day weekend is still extraordinarily high. Based on the statistics, there are over 100 car crashes per day on Memorial Day weekend in Oklahoma. This number is simply too high, and therefore it is encouraging the Oklahoma Highway Patrol taking proactive measures to further reduce this number.
Besides the roadways, patrol officers will be strictly enforcing safety rules and regulations on the water. According to the OHP, each watercraft is required to have at least one life jacket per person, and must fit and be in good condition. Also, boaters should be aware that the blood alcohol limit for boaters is the same as for drivers on the roadways. The new blood alcohol limit for boat riders has been lowered from 0.10 to 0.08 percent. For more information on boating safety, please read our previous blog that was written last year for Memorial Day weekend.
If you are still figuring out your Memorial Day weekend plans, there are a variety of events planned. There are several military observances in memory of our country’s fallen veterans located all throughout the state. These events are what Memorial Day is truly about, and will be well worth your time and travel to honor all the fallen veterans who fought so bravely for our country.
Drive the speed limit, buckle up, do not drink and drive, and overall be alert on the road and in the water. McIntyre Law wishes everyone a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!