Fourth of July weekend, which is in just a few short days, is one of the busiest times of the year for highway travel. Additionally, drunk driving tends to be a major problem over the Fourth. For these reasons, safety officials are urging drivers to be extra careful on the roads over the holiday weekend.
In fact, AAA Motor Club is predicting that this weekend will see the most holiday travel since 2007, with nearly 42 million people traveling at least 50 miles from their home between Wednesday, July 1, and Sunday, July 5.
Officials are reminding people not to drive after they have been drinking alcohol, and to drive defensively to avoid being involved in an accident with a drunk driver. Sadly, there were more than 500 people killed between July 3 and July 8 in 2013, and nearly 200 of those deaths involved drunk drivers.
Additional facts to be aware of:
- The National Highway Traffic Administration reports that close to 40 percent of all highway fatalities over Fourth of July holiday periods between 2009 and 2013 involved drunk drivers.
- According to the NHTSA, 35 percent of drivers ages 18-34 who were involved in highway fatalities over the Fourth of July holiday in 2013 were impaired beyond the legal limit.
- The accidents are especially common in the evening and at night, the NHTSA reports, between the hours of 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m.
Drunk drivers not only risk their own lives and the lives of others, they also risk serious legal consequences for their actions. They can be criminally charged with drunk driving, and can face civil claims for the injuries they cause.
In our next post, we will continue our discussion on Fourth of July safety, including staying safe on the water and while using fireworks.