The Memorial Day weekend is on the horizon. Whether you plan to stay in the city and catch the Soul Beach Music Festival or head up to your cottage in the Catskills, it’s essential that you stay safe while having fun.

According to ValuePenguin, Memorial Day weekend is the major holiday weekend with the highest number of fatal car accidents. Using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the finance website found that there was an average of 312 fatal collisions between 2011 and 2015, with Houston, Texas being the most dangerous city.

While no one expects you to cancel your plans for an out-of-town vacation, these statistics confirm that you should take extra precautions while out on the roads over the Memorial Day weekend. Below are some driver safety tips that can get you where you need to go (and bring you back) safely.

Avoid distracted driving

Some distractions are difficult to prevent or control, such as children crying or arguing in the back seat, but always pull over to address them. Never take your eyes off the road or let your attention shift. On a similar note, don’t text and drive or use your phone at all. If you need to check the map or let friends and family know that you’re running late, then get out of traffic first.

Wear a seat belt

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 23,714 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2016. More than half were not wearing seat belts at the time of the accident. The National Safety Council estimated in 2017 that 159 lives could have be saved during the Memorial Day weekend if people buckled up, so protect yourself and ensure that small children are in safety seats that are appropriate for their age and size.

Have a designated driver

For many of us, Memorial Day celebrations involve cold beer and a hot barbecue. While nothing about that needs to change, make sure that your party includes a designated driver, or you have access to alternate transportation. Even if you think you feel fine, impairment starts with the first drink, so put away the car keys before you enjoy that beer.

Allow yourself extra travel time

If you need to be somewhere at a certain time, then head out earlier than you normally would. Highway traffic will be excessive, and it will take longer to reach your destination. Don’t try to expedite arrival by speeding or weaving through traffic: it’s not worth it. Instead, focus on arriving safely.

We hope that you have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend. On behalf of everyone at our office, happy holidays!