View source: Stephanie Valentic 

The National Safety Council provides estimates on road fatalities for the weekend.

This year is the first time in four years the National Safety Council (NSC) estimates fewer than 400 people will perish in motor vehicle accidents over the three-day Memorial Day weekend.

The NSC projects 380 fatalities during the 2019 holiday period, which is a “nod” to an overall leveling off of roadway deaths after the deadliest three-year period in a half a century.

“Although we are experiencing a plateau in fatality trends, we are still losing an unacceptable number of people on our roadways, and this holiday may be no different,” said Ken Kolosh, manager of statistics at NSC. “If we pay attention, slow down and be courteous, we can increase our chances of making it to picnics, beaches and barbecues rather than emergency rooms.”

An additional 43,300 people may be seriously injured on the roads over the long weekend, which begins at 6 p.m. Friday, May 24, and ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 27.

When compared to Thanksgiving, Christmas ad New Year’s Day, the three summertime holidays – Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day – typically claim more than 110 lives each day, the highest average per-day fatality rates, the organization says.

Seven tips the NSC states could reduce the number of fatalities over Memorial Day weekend.

  1. Practice defensive driving.

Buckle up, designate a sober driver or arrange alternative transportation, get plenty of sleep to avoid fatigue, and drive attentively, avoiding distractions.

  1. Drive sober.

Recognize the dangers of drugged driving, including impairment from opioids.

  1. Stay involved with your teens.

Stay engaged in teens’ driving habits. Visit DriveitHOME.org for resources

  1. Know your vehicle’s safety features.

Learn about your vehicle’s safety systems and how to use them; visit MyCarDoesWhat.org for information

  1. Fix open recalls before traveling.

Make sure the car you are driving is safe and fix recalls immediately; visit ChecktoProtect.org to ensure your vehicle does not have an open recall

  1. Contact your lawmakers about traffic safety laws.

Ask lawmakers and state leaders to protect travelers on state roadways; read the State of Safety report to find out which states have the strongest and weakest traffic safety laws

  1. Get involved in the Road to Zero.

Join the Road to Zero coalition to get involved in addressing motor vehicle fatalities; visit nsc.org/roadtozero to get involved.