Traffic on the weekend of Memorial Day is deadlier than any other weekend throughout the year. CBS News reports that between 2011 and 2015, Memorial Day has seen an average of 312 deaths per year.
You’re probably already aware that driving can be a risky activity. More than 30,000 people are killed each year in motor vehicle accidents, and millions more are injured. As a result, you might do all you can to reduce your chances of accident or injury—wearing your seat belt, obeying the speed limit, and following the rules of the road.
Car accidents are unfortunately very common: an estimated 5 million happen every year. In 2016 (the last year for which data is available), more than 4.6 million people were injured and more than 37,000 were killed in car accidents.
We think it’s pretty safe to say that no one enjoys driving in the winter. The snow, ice, and sleet make for dangerously slippery road conditions and poor visibility. On top of that, there are more drivers on the road thanks to holiday preparations and travel. Together, these factors increase the likelihood that you and your family will experience a car accident.
In the early 1900s, in America, there were no laws in place protecting the injured worker. Workers were at the mercy of the court system to get compensation for workplace-related injuries—and they often failed. Companies typically argued that employees couldn’t be compensated if they contributed in any way to their injury or if they signed a contract (often known as a “death contract”) acknowledging the hazards of the job.
In 1972, driving deaths in the U.S. reached an all-time high of 54,589. Recognizing this as a public health crisis, the U.S. government—along with newly created non-profit organizations—worked to reduce the death toll. Campaigns advocated for the installation and use of seat belts and air bags, warned drivers of the dangers of drinking and driving, and pushed states to improve their road infrastructure. As a result, traffic deaths fell around 40 percent by 2010, to 32,999.