Despite advisories to stay inside and avoid crowds, Memorial Day 2020 brought in a record number of police reports, including those involving auto accidents. According to WJHG, there were a total of 82 car wrecks, 46 arrests, 311 traffic stops, 67 fights, and 10 stolen cars reported in Panama City Beach over Memorial Day weekend.
The city’s police chief, Drew Whitman, put the numbers into context. “We average right around 700 to 900 [reports] on a normal Memorial Day, which is typically just families. They’re usually done by 12’o clock, they’re in bed sleeping. We got hit hard this year at 1,000 [reports],” he said.
Memorial Day weekend has since been compared to this year’s Spring Break festivities which, despite similar warnings and social distancing advisories, was also a packed event in Panama City. The turnouts of these two events have some people worried about what this summer could hold in store. With our state being such an incredibly popular summer destination, there is a strong likelihood that stay-at-home orders will not deter Floridians and out of state tourists from flocking to our beaches and pools this summer. This means, of course, that there will be plenty of cars to watch out for.
Florida is often ranked near, if not at, the top of lists showcasing the deadliest states for car accidents. In 2018, the year with the most recent crash data, there were 403,626 car accidents statewide that resulted in 3,135 fatalities.
Even though people are currently driving less due to the coronavirus pandemic, car accidents remain a very real danger, especially considering the shocking Memorial Day numbers.
To help you stay safe, here are some safe driving tips everyone should practice:
Remember that defensive driving is always important—even if you are an attentive driver, there is no guarantee other motorists on the road are.
Based in Panama City, The Pittman Firm, P.A. is a Florida personal injury law firm that has been representing accident victims throughout the state for over 30 years. We are available 24/7, so whether your car accident happens during rush hour or in the middle of the night, we can assist you from the get-go. Our firm handles car accident cases in the Florida panhandle, Georgia, Alabama, and throughout the United States.