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National Death Busters Day – May 26, 2023

National Death Busters Day is observed annually on the Friday before Memorial Day and this year, it falls on May 26. Memorial Day honors all the men and women who served in the U.S. military but who have gone ahead of us. Most Americans troop to cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. It also, though unofficially, marks the beginning of the summer season. The Memorial Day weekend has become notorious for being one of the most dangerous holidays to drive. The goal of National Death Busters Day is to remind us to be cautious and take extra care when driving.

History of National Death Busters Day

National Death Busters Day was created in response to the high number of traffic accidents that occur on the Memorial Day weekend. It is a specific reminder to everyone to keep safe on the road, take all driving precautions, and be careful when traveling.

Memorial Day is a three-day weekend starting on the evening of Friday and ending on a Sunday. Holidays, by tradition, allow families to travel. Many prefer to travel by car, which, unfortunately, involves the highest fatality rate among other forms of transportation.

Holidays are occasions for celebrations, no doubt. And when we speak of celebrations, consumption of alcohol is inevitable — drinking and then driving usually go together. It has been observed that the Memorial Day weekend is “the most dangerous long weekend in the U.S. involving road crashes and car collisions among drunk drivers.” Approximately 40% of all accidents during the Memorial Day weekend involve drunk driving.

The National Safety Council (N.S.C.) therefore encourages Americans to practice what is known as defensive driving in which a driver can anticipate dangerous road situations even when everybody around him or her (including pedestrians, bikers, and passers-by) on the road will make mistakes.

The N.S.C. further urges American drivers to be aware of bicycles and motorcycles, pay close attention to traffic signs, be aware of blind spots, slow down at all intersections, check mirrors often, scan road conditions 20 seconds ahead, and maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them.

With more establishments opening across the United States, the Memorial Day weekend is expected to be more crowded. Learning from the experience of Americans traveling on this holiday and being careful when driving, drivers and their loved ones will be all the better for it.

National Death Busters Day timeline

2011 — 2015
Hundreds of Fatal Accidents

The Memorial Day weekend leads all U.S. holidays with an average of 312 fatal road accidents each year.

2015—2020
Lives Claimed on Memorial Day

The number of fatalities from car crashes during the Memorial Day weekend averages 11.7% of the total deaths in May.

2017
Running Red Lights

About 880 deaths recorded on Memorial Day are attributed to running red lights.

2019
Millions of Americans Travel

About 43 million Americans travel over the Memorial Day weekend.

National Death Busters Day FAQs

What basic rule involves safe driving?

It’s maintaining plenty of space between your car and the vehicle in front of you, locking your doors, and wearing your seatbelt.

What is meant by defensive driving?

It means paying close attention to your surroundings, being aware of brake lights and vehicles that slow down, avoiding road hazards, checking your mirrors, and minding weather-related conditions.

Do other accidents happen on Memorial Day?

Yes, accidents other than car collisions and crashes take place on Memorial Day such as boating accidents, burn accidents, and those that involve pedestrians and bikers.

How to Observe National Death Busters Day

  1. Share information about National Death Busters Day

    Share your knowledge about car and traffic safety with your loved ones and friends, especially concerning the Memorial Day weekend. Remind them not to rush and give themselves a lot of time to travel.

  2. Get rid of all distractions

    Keep your eyes on the road when driving; never text, drink and eat when you’re behind the wheel. Keep away from your cell phones.

  3. Don’t drive after you’ve had a drink

    Don’t drive your car after you’ve had too much to drink. Request a friend or a relative to take you home or take a cab.

5 Interesting Facts About Road Safety

  1. Memorial Day tops list of “deadliest” holidays

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (N.H.T.S.A.) has reported that the five most dangerous holidays involving driving are: Memorial Day, Labor Day, Independence Day, Father’s Day, and Cinco de Mayo.

  2. Three to six p.m. are dangerous hours

    The most dangerous day and hours to drive, says the N.H.T.S.A., are: Friday, between three and six p.m., respectively.

  3. Seat belts prevent death

    Studies show that using seat belts is 45% effective in preventing deaths of front-seat car passengers.

  4. Red-light running causes road accidents

    Most drivers habitually run the red light on Memorial Day.

  5. Drunk driving results in car fatalities

    Across the United States, 41% of fatalities reported during the 2020 Memorial Day weekend involved an “alcohol-impaired” driver.

Why National Death Busters Day is Important

  1. It increases public awareness

    National Death Busters Day reminds everyone to drive with extra caution, especially when traveling by car during the Memorial Day weekend. It is a reminder not to be complacent or take things for granted when in transit.

  2. People are made aware of their duty

    National Death Busters Day makes traveling families aware that they’re responsible not only for their safety but for other people’s as well. Drivers are reminded that it’s their moral obligation to protect themselves, their loved ones, other motorists, and everyone on the road.

  3. It saves lives

    By interiorizing the message of National Death Busters Day, you are more likely to make well-informed decisions when holidays (such as Memorial Day) come around. It wouldn’t hurt if people were more careful and rational when traveling.

National Death Busters Day dates

YearDateDay
2022May 27Friday
2023May 26Friday
2024May 24Friday
2025May 23Friday
2026May 22Friday

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