Mississippi Second-Most Dangerous for Memorial Day travel

Published 8:00 am Saturday, May 25, 2019

Memorial Day weekend is one of the most popular travel times during the summer season, but traffic conditions in Mississippi have proven especially dangerous, according to a recent study. 

Security firm ASecureLife released a study this week that ranked Mississippi as the second-most dangerous state for Memorial Day weekend travel. According to a news release from the company, researchers examined fatal car crashes between 2013 and 2017 in every state during Memorial Day weekend, using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. From there, they calculated the likelihood of a car accident per 100,000 people by state.  

Mississippi was projected to have 1.24 wrecks for every 100,000 people. According to the Oxford Police Department, the best way to stay safe this holiday weekend is to avoid drinking and driving. 

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“We hope that everyone has a safe Memorial Day weekend,” Capt. Hildon Sessums said. “If you drink, please have a plan that includes a designated driver, taxi or Uber.”  

During Memorial Day weekend in 2018, OPD wrote 103 citations and worked 7 accidents. 

The most dangerous state for Memorial Day travel is West Virginia, and the safest state is Maine, according to the study. Memorial Day is the third-most-deadly holiday for road travel. Fourth of July is the deadliest and Labor Day is the second-deadliest. Alaska, which came in seventh on the most dangerous list, is safer during the month of  May but more dangerous over Memorial Day weekend, perhaps because Anchorage is one of the top 10 Memorial Day travel destinations. 

According to a 2018 AAA report, there will be nearly 2 million additional travelers over Memorial Day weekend and travel delays on major roads are expected to be up to three times longer than normal, with the busiest days being Thursday and Friday.  

“If you’re hitting the roads to take advantage of the long weekend, make sure you take your time and be safe,” said Andrea Harvey, Research and Communications Specialist at ASecureLife. “Forty-seven percent of fatal car crashes are due to lack of seatbelt use, so buckle up, don’t drive if you’ve had a drink and go the speed limit.” 

May traffic fatalities increased between 2016 and 2017 from 2,871 to 2,980, but decreased over Memorial Day weekend from 398 to 355. 

Seven of the 10 most dangerous states on the list have a D or F road safety grade from the National Safety Council. 

 To view the complete study, click here.