Thanksgiving, Christmas or Halloween—no matter the reason or the season, Americans love holidays. But when the calendar flips to July, people across the country celebrate America’s Independence with picnics, parades and barbecue cookouts. In fact, the Fourth of July is America’s favorite summer holiday. However, the sheer amount of car crashes that occur on around of July Fourth make it the deadliest holiday of the year. The National Safety Council (NSC) is estimating that 164 people may be killed on the road in July Fourth car crashes this year.
The organization defines the one-day holiday period as starting at 6 p.m. on July 3 and ending at 11:59 p.m. on July 4. In addition, the NSC estimates that 18,600 more people may be seriously injured in July Fourth car crashes. This year’s NSC estimate is almost 4 percent higher that the actual number of deaths in 2012—the last July 4 fell on a Wednesday.
It’s estimated that more than 46 million people will drive 50 or more miles to celebrate the Fourth of July in 2018. All across the nation, Americans pack up their cars and make trips to the beach, lake or to family member’s house with a pool. But it is important to note that car travel has the highest fatality rate of any major form of transportation based on fatalities per passenger mile.
Fourth of July is America’s top beer-drinking holiday. During the holiday, beer sales top more than $1 billion each year when the holiday runs around. If beer isn’t your style, Americans spend other half-billion dollars on wine.
This excessive alcohol use leads to a 40 percent increase in drunk driving fatalities.
Stay Safe Through the July Fourth Holiday
While the NSC’s numbers are just an estimate, the organization is typically close to correctly guessing July Fourth car crash fatalities. The organization is predicting that there will be somewhere between 136 to 194 lives lost over the July 4, 2018 holiday.
In 2016, unintentional injuries accounted for a record high 161,374 fatalities. This number includes car accidents, making it the third leading cause of death in the United States. However, drivers can take measure to protect themselves during peak car crash periods.
To avoid July Fourth car crashes drivers should always:
Practice Defensive Driving
The best defensive practice is wearing your seat belt. When worn properly, seat belts reduce the risks of death by 45 percent and cuts the risk of serious injury by 50 percent. When you begin your trip get plenty of rest to avoid fatigue. In addition, drive attentively and avoid distractions such as your smartphone.
Recognize the Dangers of Drunk or Drugged Driving
If you plan on drinking, designate a totally sober driver—zero drinks sober. If that cannot be arranged, then call a ridesharing service. Additionally, you should recognize the impacts of prescription opioids and other drugs have on your driving ability.
Fix Recalls Immediately
Getting vehicle repairs when your car is under recall is necessary to keep yourself, your family and others on the road safe. Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to see if your vehicle is under recall.
The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
July Fourth car crashes can ruin your holiday. This is why staying safe on the roads this July Fourth holiday is extremely important. Additionally, drivers should drive cautiously and be aware of other drivers around them. However, if a tragedy strikes and you or a loved one suffer serious or fatal injuries in one of these auto-accidents over the holiday, contact the Carlson Law Firm. Our team of experienced and dedicated attorneys is ready to help you and your family.