The upcoming Fourth of July weekend may be exciting to many Hoosiers and lots of us may be planning fun trips, going places with family and friends on the long holiday weekend. However, it’s also important for all of us on the roads over the Fourth of July weekend to be careful and prudent as we travel in traffic over the holiday.
Why? Because the risk is very high that we’ll be driving in traffic with people who are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – which greatly increases the risk of a serious traffic accident or car crash where people are seriously injured or killed over the 4th of July weekend.
Why the Fourth of July is So Dangerous for Drivers on Indiana and Illinois Roads
Consider the following facts from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the lessons we can learn from their findings:
1. Over the July 4th holiday period from 2009 to 2013, 750 people lost their lives in crashes involving drivers with a BAC of .08 or more. These fatalities account for 39% percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities over this same five-year period.
We all need to know that this is a REAL danger as we get behind the wheel over the holiday: almost half of the total number of traffic accident deaths in the United States in the years 2009-2013 were caused by drunk drivers.
2. In 2013, over the Fourth of July Holiday Weekend, of the fatal car accidents that happened between the hours of nine o’clock at night and midnight (9 pm – midnight) over half — 55% — were caused by drunk drivers.
So, driving between 9 pm and midnight — or after dark — is even more dangerous for serious and fatal crashes caused by a drunk driver.
3. During the Fourth of July holiday in 2013, studies found that it was 300% more likely that drunk drivers were the cause of fatal traffic accidents where someone died in the crash in accidents that happened after dark rather than in the daytime.
Lesson here: if at all possible, try and not be out on the roads over the 4th of July holiday weekend after dark, especially in areas where you know there are nightclubs, bars, or other places where alcoholic beverages are served.
4. Studies have found that not only are drivers more likely to be driving under the influence over the holiday weekend and especially at night over that time period, but that they are more than a little buzzed: over one-fifth of these drivers tested out at TWICE the legal BAC limit.
Which means we all need to be aware of just how seriously impaired some of these holiday drivers may be who are sharing the roads with us.
5. Young drivers (18-34 years) who died in traffic accidents over the 2013 Fourth of July holiday were legally drunk.
The dangers of driving over the Fourth of July holiday here in Indiana and Illinois really need to be considered by teens and young adults who are out enjoying the holiday because they are statistically shown to be the most likely to be vulnerable to the drunk driving risk.
From everyone here at Kenneth J. Allen Law Group, please have a safe and happy 4th of July holiday!!