Safe Travel: Holiday, drunk driving do not mix

It may be difficult for Mountain State residents to hear, but according to a company called ASecureLife, West Virginia is the most dangerous state in the nation for those traveling on Memorial Day weekend.

Their report used statistics from 2013-17 to determine Memorial Day is the third-most dangerous holiday for traveling in general (after the Fourth of July and Labor Day). In other words, it is a holiday on which the weather makes it easier to host backyard parties at which guests might be consuming more adult beverages.

And here in West Virginia, that has meant 24 people died on the roads on Memorial Day weekend, during that time period. That gives us the highest rates of fatal accidents per 100,000 population in the country during that time period. Notice, of course that the list is meant to advise TRAVELERS — people who might be much more used to driving on straight, flat roads. The number of folks who make the poor decision to drive while impaired is likely the largest factor, but it is not the only one.

Advice given by the company to those traveling in West Virginia is common sense: use extra caution when driving at night (there are deer to account for, too); slow down; drive defensively; don’t drive impaired and wear a seat belt.

But there is some advice that should be taken by hosts, too. Don’t overserve your guests this weekend. Pay attention to who has had enough to warrant suggesting a ride home (or a spot on the couch). It will be easier to enjoy yourself if you are not worried about the guests you send away at the end of the evening, and anyone they might encounter on the roads.

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