100 Most Traveled Days of the Year
The 100 days from Memorial Day through Labor Day are referred to as the 100 most traveled days. However, these can also be the 100 most dangerous days on the roads. Although the period encompasses only one quarter of the year, over 1/3 of traffic deaths occur during that time. For instance, in 2019, 136 of the 364 traffic fatalities (37%) in Minnesota occurred during those 100 days.
The most common reasons for serious and fatal motor vehicle crashes include speeding, distracted driving, lack of seatbelt use, and drunk driving.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, traffic volumes decreased. However, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, there were more traffic deaths from March 16 through May 18 of 2020 (50) compared to the same period during 2019 (47). Memorial Day 2020 was the deadliest Memorial Day since 2010, with 8 traffic fatalities on Minnesota roads.
The Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) is taking the following measures to combat the dangers of driving during the 100 most traveled days:
- Working with police to generate extra enforcement on the roads
- Special enforcement for speed violations on June 22 through July 19
- Extra hands-free phone enforcement on the week of the one-year anniversary of the hands-free cell phone law: August 1-8
- Additional impaired driving enforcement campaign: August 14 – September 7
More Road Trips During Summer 2020: How People Feel and What the Pandemic May Mean for Future Travel Plans
A survey of 1,371 people (mostly older people from Minnesota or the Midwest) conducted by Minnesota’s state tourism promotion office—Explore Minnesota—states that people are ready to travel around Minnesota but are feeling cautious. Explore Minnesota’s director, John Edman, said that “[t]he tourism industry has been significantly impacted and forever changed in recent months, but these targeted survey results offer a cautious sense of optimism about the future of travel throughout Minnesota. Consumers are anxious to travel, but also concerned about their safety. Travel and tourism businesses across the state are listening and have made visitors’ safety a priority, implementing stringent safety protocols including increased sanitation, contactless check-in, staff wearing masks and more.”
62.5% of the survey participants said that they have tentative plans to take a leisure trip and 50% of the participants have at least tentative plans for a trip this fall. The trips that have been planned were found to be mostly road trips that are close to home—only 23% of participants said that their next trip will be more than 500 miles away from home.
In a survey of 1,000 Americans by tourism research firm Longwoods, over half of participants planned to visit family or friends in the United States this summer. Of those participants, 73% of them plan to do so by car.
In the Chicago area, University of Illinois-Chicago researchers found that more people in the Chicago area are anticipating taking road trips even after the COVID-19 pandemic due to fears about the safety of air travel due to the virus. After surveying more than 1,000 people in the Chicago area, the researchers concluded that many people were uncomfortable about traveling on an airplane and anticipated taking more long-distance trips in their cars instead.
Although 1,000 survey participants is a relatively small sample size, researchers will be starting a national-level study soon in collaboration with Arizona State University regarding travel plans as states continue reopening.
Precautions to Stay Safe Traveling by Car: Prepare, Make Reservations, and Wear a Face Mask
- Do not travel to COVID-19 hotspots
- Only travel with individuals you have already quarantined with
- Sanitize the car prior, during, and after the trip
- Take your own food
- Use contactless payment throughout your trip
- Avoid large crowds
- Consider capacity limits for restaurants, hotels and local attractions or theme parks and make reservations
- If you need to use the bathroom, check for signs that it has recently been cleaned, do not touch surfaces or handles, and wait until everyone has come out
Our Minnesota Auto Accident Attorneys have over 30 years of experience representing victims injured by negligent drivers. Contact our team today for a free consultation, and leave the sleepless nights to us.