Southern California’s Memorial Day Weekend Continues Trend of Drunk Drivers and Car Accidents

Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer, left California drivers with ominous feelings after hundreds of car accidents and DUI arrests occurred.  Regardless of whether the DUI arrest involved a car accident, many of those that did ended with deadly results.  Even car accidents that did not involve intoxicated drivers saw several injuries and wrongful deaths occur.  Sadly, these incidents are not unusual for the holiday, as summer holidays traditionally represent the deadliest time to drive.  With the influx of tourists and drivers coming to the beach communities in Orange County and Los Angeles this summer, now is the time to be especially cautious on the roadways.

If you suspect that there is a drunk or reckless driver on the roadway, make sure to call local police. If you are involved in a car accident with a drunk or reckless driver this summer, be sure to speak with a car accident attorney right away.

Memorial Day Weekend’s Historical Car Accident Statistics

Along with remembrance and barbeques, Memorial Day weekend has become just as well known for car accidents and drunk drivers.  The holiday has sadly become the least safe time to drive on the road. Unfortunately, statistics show that things do not get much better as other summer holiday weekends continue.  Los Angeles, in particular, stands out as a locale with an increased number of holiday car accidents.  Unsurprisingly, holiday car accident statistics show that there is a clear correlation between the increased number of drunk drivers on the roadway and the number of accidents that occur.

According to the financial firm Value Penguin, from 2011-2015 an ordinary three-day weekend in the United States saw an average of 250 traffic fatalities.  On Memorial Day weekend, the average number of traffic fatalities jumped to 312.  Respectively, the Fourth of July weekend averaged 307, and Labor Day 308. The question begs to ask, is there a reason for the increase in fatal car accidents on the holiday weekends?

Fatal Car Accident Statistics on Holiday Weekends vs. Normal Three Day Weekend

Drivers and passengers face the highest risk of being in a fatal car accident during the three major summer holiday weekends.

The answer might be that the number of fatal car accidents is related to the number of people driving under the influence.  The available data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that 40.3 percent of all car accidents on Memorial Day weekend involved a drunk driver. The usual rate of car accidents involving someone driving under the influence was 29.2%.  Thus, there is an approximate 40 percent increase in the number of car accidents involving people driving under the influence on holiday weekends compared to ordinary three-day weekends.

Percentage of Car Accidents Involving Drunk Drivers

The summer holidays represent three of the top four holidays involving car accidents and drunk drivers.

Memorial Day Weekend 2019 Car Accidents

This year, car accidents, arrests of drunk drivers, and fatalities came rapidly in Southern California. By Monday, the California Highway Patrol reported that Memorial Day weekend resulted in 1099 arrests for people driving under the influence.  After a car accident involving a Long Beach pedestrian resulted in a fatality before the weekend commenced, fatal accidents continued to come in fast and furious.  In total, Memorial Day weekend resulted in the wrongful death of at least a thirty-four drivers and passengers.

Before Memorial Day Weekend began, Long Beach car accident reports relayed a sad pedestrian hit-and-run death.   The report stated that a vehicle struck 44-year-old Latonia Williams while she walked just outside of a crosswalk at Pacific Ave. and 25th Street.  After the car hit Ms. Williams, she was then hit by another car and died at the scene. The first vehicle that hit Ms. Williams fled the scene, and the driver is still at large.  We are asking anyone with information regarding this hit and run incident to contact Det. Sirilo Garcia at the Long Beach Police Department.

Then, within the first six hours of the holiday weekend, eight people died in a car crash. Authorities reported that more than half of those that died were not wearing a seat belt. Authorities did not release the names of any the victims or state what the cause of the crash was.

In Silverado, CA, a car crash Saturday morning killed two teens and left three others injured.  The 1998 Mazda Protégé was being driven by Joshua Morales on Santiago Canyon Road when it suddenly left the road. Property damage photographs show that the vehicle struck a tree and required the jaws of life to pry the occupants out.  Joshua Morales died in the car.  One passenger, Colton Mundy, died hours later at UCI Medical Center.  Three other teens went to hospitals with major injuries. Families of Morales, Mundy, and another passenger have set up GoFundMe pages.

Then on Sunday, a Pomona family died when they crashed into a tree near Los Banos, CA.  Reports stated that the driver lost control of his Nissan Altima, causing him to cross the freeway onto a dirt shoulder where he hit a tree. The wreckage was scattered on the road and included a car seat latch, broken glass, and a taillight. A relative identified the driver Samuel Soto, and his pregnant wife, Alondra Soto.  The Soto’s two children also died in the crash.  A family friend set up a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses.

Take Action and Help Make our Roads Safe this Summer

In sum, Memorial Day Weekend 2019 ended with tragic consequences.  The holiday typically marks the deadliest three-day holiday weekend of the year before two of the next three follow.  Huntington Beach, Bolsa Chica, Seal Beach, and Long Beach will see countless tourists flock to the beaches this summer.  Statistics show that on holiday weekends an increased number of those tourist drivers will drive under the influence.  It is vital that members of the community call the police if they suspect a drunk driver is on the road.  Residents and tourists should also generally be on the lookout for reckless drivers and make sure to report them immediately.

If You Have Been in a Car Accident in the Long Beach Traffic Circle Contact a Local Personal Injury Lawyer Right Away!

If you have been in a car accident, call a personal injury attorney right away. Make sure that you gather all of the other drivers’ auto insurance information.  No one article can cover everything that people should know after a car accident.  Additionally, car accidents with drunk drivers present unique legal challenges.  There are many local personal injury law firms throughout Long Beach, Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, and Newport Beach that can help with filing a claim.  Most personal injury law firms can also assist if you have a wrongful death action.  Contact a lawyer right away to protect your statute of limitations, and ensure that you receive full justice for your insurance claims.  Don’t let an insurance company lowball your demand for reimbursement of medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering.

The information contained in this post is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this post, or website, should be taken as legal advice for any individual or case situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.  Contact us If you have lost a loved one or have pain and suffering from a personal injury.  For more information, visit our wrongful death page and car accidents page. For a free consultation, please reach out to our attorneys to arrange a time to discuss your case.  All you have to do is hit the big blue button labeled Contact Us at the top of this page!