New Hampshire police sent out a reminder to residents of the state -- go ahead and enjoy the weekend and the start of summer, but please drive safely and defensively over the weekend.
More than 34 million Americans are expected to hit the roads and travel 50 miles this Memorial Day weekend just to celebrate with their families and friends.
Statistically, Memorial Day weekend is the most deadly time to drive -- averaging 312 fatalities on the road each year from 2011 to 2015.
In order to stay safe this weekend, experts recommend the following:
-- Get some rest before you drive any long distance this weekend so that you aren't trying to drive while still tired from work.
-- Assume the roads will be crowded and plan ahead for delays so you don't have to rush.
-- Since you know that accidents are likely to happen, make sure you listen for emergency vehicles.
-- Pull to the right and stop if an emergency vehicle needs to pass you and you're on a two-lane road. If you're on a four-lane road, get over to the right and reduce your speed.
-- Wear your seat belt and make sure that your passengers wear theirs.
-- Take a break to stretch and refocus every couple of hours to avoid drowsiness.
-- If you're planning on drinking, find a designated driver in advance. Give him or her your keys
-- Find a safe way to get home before you start celebrating. Consider making use of taxis, teetotaler friends and public transportation.
-- Look for community programs offering safe and sober rides home from parties.
-- Don't let anyone you know or love get behind the wheel while drunk, even if you have to hide his or her keys.
-- Call emergency services if you see someone who seems to be driving while drunk.
Finally, don't be fooled by the nice weather if you get some this weekend. More than 60 percent of drivers feel safer in the summer sun even though the risk of an accident is higher in the summer than any other season. If you are in a car accident over the weekend, and it was not your fault, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries and other damages.
Source: Patch.com, "NH State Police: Stay Safe This Memorial Day Weekend," Tony Schinella, May 25, 2017