Texas Leads in Memorial Day Traffic Deaths, Will COVID-19 Make It Better or Worse?
Based on previous years, it's estimated that 366 people will die in traffic accidents over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Some of the deadliest roads are right here in Texas- Dallas and Houston are especially fraught with peril. In the past, 37% of these fatalities involved alcohol.
Of course, statistics are well-informed estimations based on trends in data, so how will COVID-19 affect these totals? It's impossible to know for sure, but I think its incredibly significant that Governor Greg Abbot allowed bars to open as of Friday (5/23/2020), the beginning of this holiday weekend.
Of course, a responsible bar will not over-serve their patrons, however, I am concerned that folks with that much pent-up energy may go overboard and foolishly choose to drive. Memorial Day should be a solemn holiday as we remember our country's venerated military dead. But most folks treat it as a warm-up for July 4th, another deadly traffic holiday weekend.
Folks choosing not to travel this year may offset these numbers- many of us just can't afford to go anywhere, or are avoid public spaces until they are more confident the threat of COVID-19 is mitigated.
Please, enjoy your holiday. We deserve it, we need the break. But don't end up a dumb statistic for an article next year. Ubers are incredibly inexpensive, especially compared to court or funeral costs.