American flags in the soil
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By Jarome Gautreaux

Memorial Day, traditionally observed in the United States on the last Monday of May, is a day of remembrance and tribute to those who have died while serving their country in military duties. Unfortunately, it has also become associated with various safety risks, particularly on the roads and in recreational settings. Some of the reasons contributing to why it is considered the most dangerous holiday of the year are due to a variety of factors.

Factors Leading To Increased Danger On Memorial Day

  • Increased Traffic Volume: During Memorial Day weekend, many people take advantage of the long weekend to travel, significantly increasing traffic volume. This increased traffic can lead to more accidents due to congestion, aggressive driving, and drivers unfamiliar with the roads. With its major highways and tourist destinations, traffic in Georgia can be particularly pronounced.
  • Alcohol Consumption: Holidays, including Memorial Day, often see an increase in alcohol consumption as people attend barbecues, parties, and other social events. Drunk driving accidents frequently ensue, which are a leading cause of traffic-related fatalities. In response, law enforcement agencies often ramp up DUI checkpoints and patrols, but the risk remains significant.
  • Recreational Activities: Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, leading many to engage in outdoor and recreational activities such as boating, water sports, swimming, hiking, and camping. While enjoyable, these activities come with their risks.
  •  Driving-Related Dangers: Distracted driving has become a significant concern with the popularity of smartphones and other digital devices. The temptation to use the phone on busy holiday weekends like Memorial Day increases when people often navigate unfamiliar routes or coordinate with others.  As a result, vehicle accidents and fatalities are more likely to occur. In addition, many people travel long distances to reach their holiday destinations or to return home, leading to driver fatigue. Fatigued driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving, impairing reaction time, judgment, and situational awareness.

Warmer weather and holiday festivities lead to more motorcycles and bicycles on the roads, which can be risky if drivers are not vigilant. Motorcyclists and bicyclists are more vulnerable to accidents, and the increase in traffic can heighten the danger for these road users. Lastly, Memorial Day weekend falls when many teenagers are out of school and more likely to be on the roads. Teen drivers, who are less experienced and more prone to risky driving behaviors, can increase the risk of accidents.

Legal Issues That Might Arise On The Memorial Day Weekend

Here are some of the legal issues that might arise over the Memorial Day weekend:

  • Personal Injury Claims: Personal injury claims are among the most common legal issues arising from injuries sustained in Georgia during the Memorial Day weekend. These could result from car accidents, boating accidents, swimming pool accidents, and other recreational activities discussed above. Victims may file personal injury lawsuits seeking compensation for their injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
  • Premises Liability: Property owners could face legal issues in Georgia if guests suffer injuries on their property due to unsafe conditions. Injuries occur from slips and falls, dog bites, or accidents due to poorly maintained facilities. Owners have a legal duty to ensure their property is safe for guests and visitors.
  • Product Liability: Injuries caused by defective products, such as grills, outdoor equipment, fireworks, or recreational vehicles, can lead to product liability lawsuits. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers could be held liable if their product is found to be defective and causes injury.
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI): As mentioned earlier, Memorial Day weekend often sees a spike in DUI incidents due to parties and gatherings. Injured individuals may file lawsuits for damages against drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Additionally, the driver could face criminal charges and legal action from the state.
  • Boating Accidents: Similar to car accidents, boating accidents often increase during Memorial Day weekend. Injuries or deaths resulting from boating under the influence (BUI), inexperienced operation, or failure to follow safety regulations can lead to legal consequences for the boat operator and potentially others involved.
  • Workplace Injuries: Employees working over the holiday weekend, especially in hospitality, retail, or law enforcement, might experience on-the-job injuries. These incidents can lead to workers’ compensation claims and, depending on the circumstances, personal injury lawsuits.
  • Contract Disputes and Cancellations: These can arise from events or services booked for the holiday weekend. If the establishment’s owner does not render the agreed-upon services or the proprietor cancels an event without a refund, disputes may require legal resolution.
  • Insurance Disputes: With the increase in injuries and accidents, disputes with insurance companies over coverage and compensation can arise, involving health insurance, auto insurance, homeowner’s insurance, or travel insurance.


Memorial Day weekend is a beautiful way to honor our veterans who have died during military duty, and it usually coincides with the beginning of many enjoyable summer activities.  Unfortunately, various legal issues can arise from injuries this holiday weekend. As a result, if you are dealing with a legal issue following an injury, it is advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney who can provide guidance based on the specifics of your case. Contact Gautreaux Law for an initial consultation. We are experienced personal injury attorneys and will ensure that your interests are protected.

About the Author
Jarome Gautreaux is a personal injury trial lawyer. He represents people who have been seriously injured, as well as the families of people killed because of carelessness or negligence. For over 20 years, he has successfully recovered more than 100 million dollars in a variety of Macon personal injury cases. Jarome’s reputation for client focus and case success has led to other lawyers requesting his assistance with complex personal injury litigation. What drives Jarome every day is his strong belief that the amount of money someone has should not dictate the justice they receive. It is for this reason that he has never worked for corporations, insurance companies, or other interest groups. Instead, he thrives on helping the people who need it most- people who have suffered at the hands of others and deserve compensation.