This Fourth of July Family, friends, food and fireworks are all words that are synonymous with an iconic American holiday- the Fourth of July. However, many Americans celebrate Independence Day with alcohol, making the Fourth of July one of the most deadly days of the year on the nation’s roads. Many communities are stepping up police presence in accordance with the ongoing ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ enforcement crackdown.
Thanks to startling statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the extra police protection should be unanimously supported by those communities. According to NHTSA, the percentage of fatalities from impaired driving dramatically increases around the Fourth of July.
In 2011, 251 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Of those fatalities, 38 percent were in crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration of at least .08 grams per deciliter – the legal intoxication limit in all 50 states.
- NHTSA also published statistics indicating that during July 4th holidays during 2007-2011,
- 780 people lost their lives in crashes involving drivers who had BACs of .08 g/dL or higher.
- These fatalities accounted for 40 percent of all highway deaths over the five-year period.
- Perhaps the most dangerous drivers on the road are young drivers between the ages 18 and 34.
Over the Fourth of July holiday in 2011, more than half of the young drivers killed in alcohol-related crashes were operating their vehicles while drunk. Thanks to the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ safety campaign, local police will be out in force throughout this Independence Day, on the lookout for motorists who have had too much alcohol to be behind the wheel of a vehicle.
These impaired drivers not only pose a threat to themselves, but also to everyone else on the road. Their negligence causes accidents, injuries, and potentially death. What can you do to be safe this Fourth of July holiday?
Follow these simple tips:
- Plan a safe way home before the fun begins;
- Before drinking, designate a sober driver;
- If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;
- Use your community’s sober ride program;
- If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact your local law enforcement;
- And remember, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”
Do not let someone you know who has had too much to drink get behind the wheel! Take their keys and arrange another way for them to get home. – For more information, please visit National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!