The 4th of July is a celebration of our nation’s birth and is enjoyed across the country. The enjoyment is sometimes accompanied by barbecues that include alcoholic beverages. The combination of alcohol and celebration makes the 4th of July a dangerous time on the road, and every year hundreds of Americans die as a result of alcohol-related vehicle crashes.
"Traveling on a major holiday is risky for many reasons," says Chuck Farmer, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) vice president for research and statistical services. "In general, there are more people on the roads, and drivers may be navigating areas beyond their regular commuting routes. There's a high incidence of alcohol use, which sharply raises the risk of crashing."
Independence Day fatality statistics
Alcohol is a factor in a greater proportion of crash deaths on the 4th of July. 47 percent of the deaths on this holiday involve at least one driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08. On average, there are 37 percent more highway fatalities on July 4 than the average July day, according to a study of federal accident data. When traffic increases, so does the death toll, says the National Safety Council (NSC).
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been tracking car crash statistics for over 25 years, and it shows that, on average, 51 percent of all fatal automobile accidents on July 4 are related to alcohol. Other holidays that top the list include Labor Day, New Year’s, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, but the 4th of July is always on top. The most dangerous time to be on the road is from 6:00 p.m. on July 3 to midnight on July 5. The NHTSA further reports that motorists are at risk for encountering someone driving drunk at any time of day, but the risk rises exponentially at night. During the 4th of July holiday, the rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes is almost 2.5 times higher at night than during the day.
Tips for staying safe on the road this 4th of July
The NSC estimates that 174 lives will already be saved over the 4th of July holiday because of widespread seatbelt use, though an additional 48 lives could be saved if all drivers and passengers wore safety belts. The NSC further suggests that motorists:
- Think ahead if they plan to consume alcohol. Designate a sober driver and give that person the keys.
- If a person is impaired, call a taxi; use mass transit, or call a sober friend or family member to get home safely.
- Promptly report drunk drivers seen on the road to law enforcement officials.
- Don't let friends drive drunk. Take their keys and help them make safe travel arrangements.
“We at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. want everyone to enjoy the 4th of July. However, should you or a loved be injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at our firm to determine your rights,” said Fort Myers DUI Accident Attorney, Randall Spivey.
Fort Myers DUI Accident Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one percent (1%) of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll-free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County at 239.793.7748.