Independence Day is one of the most celebrated holidays in the country. Millions of Americans celebrate the July 4th holiday by spending time with family and friends while grilling food and enjoying recreational activities. However, July 4th is also notorious for having higher rates of alcohol consumption. Statistics on July 4th drunk driving accidents show that Independence Day can be an especially dangerous time for driving. Not only are there more drivers on the roads, some motorists may be under the influence of alcohol, cannabis or other drugs. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Independence Day has the second highest number of drunk driving deaths compared to other days in the year. Only New Year’s Day has more drunk driving deaths. IIHS statistics also show that July 4th has the highest number of fatal car accidents each year. This figure includes accidents that do not involve impaired drivers.
How to Protect Yourself on July 4thAlthough Bay Area police departments set up DUI checkpoints on Independence Day to catch drunk drivers, they simply do not have the resources to catch every drunk driver. Therefore, it is important to know what you can do to protect yourself, you friends or your family members.
- Drive during the day. You should drive during the day if you are able. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warns that drivers are more likely to be under the influence of alcohol at night. This is especially true on a holiday where most of the festivities take place in the afternoon.
- Practice safe driving. Remain extra cautious and drive at speeds that are safe for conditions. Distracted driving, speeding or general inattentiveness are more likely to lead to an accident if there are more cars on the road. AAA estimates that more than 45 million people will travel by car for the 2018 July 4th holiday.
- Report drunk drivers. You can help improve driving safety for yourself and others by reporting drunk drivers. According to the California Highway Patrol, you should hand the phone over to a passenger so they can call the authorities to report the intoxicated motorist.