As the 4th of July holiday approaches, it is important to remember that increased travel and an influx of visitors to many local areas can lead to higher traffic volumes and an increase in the potential for accidents.
According to AutoInsurance.org, Independence Day has 19% more traffic fatalities than the average holiday due to drunk driving and increased traffic. As such, it's essential to practice safe driving on any roads you may encounter during your special festivities this Independence Day. Here are some tips to help ensure a safe journey for everyone during these summer celebrations.
7 Independence Day Driving Tips
1. Stay Put
It's a well-known fact that the Fourth of July is a time for celebrations and heavy drinking. American’s plan to spend about $1.4+ billion on beer and wine for the holiday and if you're planning on taking part in celebrations, it's important to keep in mind that driving afterward can be dangerous.
If possible, it’s best to avoid driving after Fourth of July celebrations. If you decided to spend the holiday at someone else’s home in or out of town, it's a good idea to choose to stay overnight at that friend/family member's home or hotel and drive home the following morning.
2. Leave Celebrations Early
If you're planning on celebrating the Fourth of July, it's important to keep in mind the dangers of impaired driving. The later you leave a celebration, the higher the risk of encountering drivers who have been drinking and are not fit to drive. Additionally, staying late can also lead to exhaustion behind the wheel, which is also a safety hazard.
3. Wear Your Seatbelt
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 26,325 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in 2021 and about 50% of those killed were not buckled. On a night when there’s going to be heavy traffic with people in areas they’re unfamiliar with, it’s best to remember to use your seatbelt.
Another statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that adults living in “rural areas are 10% less likely to wear seat belts (78% use) than adults who live in urban and suburban areas (87% use).” With these numbers, wearing your seatbelt is crucial to remember while traveling in vehicles.
4. Don’t Ride Your Motorcycle
For those who own a motorcycle, leaving it at home and driving a car instead could be the safest choice on the Fourth of July. Motorcycle riders are less visible and more susceptible to injury without the protection of a vehicle. The NHTSA notes the “per vehicle miles traveled in 2021, motorcyclists were about 24 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash and were 4 times more likely to be injured.”
While, wearing protective gear such as a regulation helmet and clothing can help, it’s still important to acknowledge that you are more susceptible to getting involved in wrecks compared to those who drive cars. By opting for a car on this holiday, you can have a safer experience on the road.
5. Don’t Use Your Phone While Driving
Using your phone while driving can have deadly consequences. The distraction it causes has led to 3,349 fatal crashes in the U.S. during 2021, with 382 of those involving cellphone use. Therefore, this Independence Day, it's important to stay focused on the road.
Texting, calling, typing in directions for GPS, and any other phone-related tasks can all be extremely dangerous this holiday. With unfamiliar roads and potentially more traffic than usual, don't take any unnecessary risks that could jeopardize your safety.
6. Carefully Approach Intersections
Approaching an intersection can be dangerous during this holiday when impaired drivers are more common. It's important to be vigilant and keep an eye out for vehicles coming from cross streets or roads. Even if they appear to be slowing down, don't assume that they're going to stop. With impaired drivers on the road, anything can happen.
7. Plan for a Designated Driver
Independence Day is a time for celebrations and gatherings with friends and family. However, it's essential to remember the importance of having a designated driver if alcohol is involved. If you do end up becoming the designated driver and find yourself drinking, it's crucial to call for a taxi, Uber, or Lyft. Don’t risk operating a vehicle while under the influence, it puts not only yourself but also others on the road in danger.
It's important to prioritize safety while driving, but not everyone may do so. If you or a loved one find yourselves victim to a car accident, it's crucial to seek out the help of an experienced car accident attorney. Our team at Bridges, Jillisky, Weller & Gullifer, LLC is dedicated to fighting for your rights and pursuing the compensation you deserve.
Don't face this battle alone - contact us today at (937) 403-9033 or schedule a consultation with us online.