Holidays and long weekends often mean that Arizona residents will be traveling for vacations and family gatherings. Unfortunately, increased holiday traffic may also include the dangers of impaired or otherwise negligent drivers. While Memorial Day weekend was meant to commemorate the sacrifices of military members, it can also become the tragic anniversary of the loss of a loved one in a fatal car crash.

A recent study of traffic deaths during the long Memorial Day weekend have continued to show an alarming increase throughout much of the country. From the years of 2012 to 2017, there were an estimated 2,500 fatal wrecks on the nation’s highways. However, Arizona is one of the few states that have reported a decrease in traffic deaths over this time period. Of those 2,500 fatalities, approximately 46 of them occurred here. In comparison, the state with the most deaths reported 269 fatal crashes.

The study, conducted by 1Point21Interactive, showed that traffic deaths were up an estimated 19% nationwide for the long weekend over the past several years. In contrast, Arizona statistics reflected a 21% decrease in fatal wrecks over the same period. According to the data, the majority of these accidents occur between the hours of 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. In that time frame, 35% of wrecks included an impaired driver. Those figures nearly double to 62%, however, in the hours between 12 a.m. and 4 a.m.

Sadly, this information does little to ensure the safety of travelers on Arizona highways. At the start of this year’s holiday, five people died in a head-on crash. Those who suffer the loss of a loved one in an accident caused by the negligence of another party may never fully recover emotionally. Frequently, the grief of these survivors is compounded by the burdens of financial losses they have sustained. It may be possible to recover documented damages by means of a successful wrong death civil suit.