BALTIMORE (WJZ) — If you’re headed out on a road trip to to the beach this Memorial Day, here’s some good news: Maryland is among the safest states for travel for this holiday weekend.
A Secure Life, a security research company, ranked all 50 states for their safety for traveling this weekend and Maryland ranked as the 10th safest state for Memorial Day travel.
Their researchers looked at fatal car crash statistics between 2013 and 2017 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to determine which states were the safest and most dangerous for travel.
Maryland had .42 crashed per 100,000 people on Memorial Day.
But if you’re traveling north to Delaware or to West Virginia, be careful, as those two states rank among the most dangerous states for Memorial Day travel.
“West Virginia accounted for 24 fatal accidents on Memorial Day. While that’s not the highest total by state, it’s the highest rate of fatal accidents (1.3) per 100,000 population,” researchers said.
Memorial Day is the third most dangerous holiday for car travel. Fourth of July weekend ranks the most dangerous, followed by Labor Day weekend.
Here are some travel tips from A Secure Life
Take care when driving at night
When you drive at night you’re more likely to encounter impaired drivers, so try to plan the bulk of your driving during the day. If you do have to drive at night, be extra cautious around other drivers.
Speeding gives you less time to react if something like an accident occurs in front of you. Slow down and give yourself more time and space to react to anything happening on the roads.
Keep some extra distance from other drivers and anticipate having to make sudden maneuvers. You shouldn’t tail slow drivers, and you should let aggressive drivers pass. If you come upon any erratic drivers, drive like they can’t see you and keep an exit strategy in mind.
Don’t drive impaired
This should be obvious, but do not drive if you’ve had too much to drink. Plan for someone to be the designated driver if you need to drive on Memorial Day. If you’ve been drinking and you don’t have a designated driver, call a Lyft or Uber. Alcohol greatly increases your risk for car accidents, so it’s best to approach it with a zero tolerance policy.
Wear a seatbelt
Make sure everyone in the car is buckled up whenever you’re driving. It’s such a simple task that greatly reduces your risk for serious injury or death on the road. In fact, 47% of fatal crashes in 2017 occurred when the victim wasn’t using a seat belt.