NSC urges motorists to be particularly vigilant about impaired drivers, and to designate sober drivers themselves. Analysis of the latest available data shows during the 2017 Independence Day period, 39 percent of fatalities involved an alcohol-impaired driver, the highest percentage among all the major holidays.i
The four-day holiday period this year will begin at 6 p.m. ET Wednesday, July 3, and will end at 11:59 p.m. ET Sunday, July 7. It comes on the heels of National Safety Month, observed annually in June to help educate about preventable deaths such as motor vehicle crashes, which are the second leading cause of unintentional fatalities in the U.S.
“As we celebrate one of our country’s most cherished holidays, we have to keep safety in mind,” said Lorraine M. Martin, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Sober and attentive driving could be the difference between watching fireworks and watching ambulance lights.”
Drivers can take measures to protect themselves. Tips to ensure a safer holiday weekend include:
- Drive defensively. Buckle up, designate a sober driver or arrange alternative transportation, get plenty of sleep to avoid fatigue, and drive attentively, avoiding distractions. Visit nsc.org for defensive driving tips.
- Recognize the dangers of drugged driving, including impairment from opioids.
- Stay engaged in teens’ driving habits. Visit DriveitHOME.org for resources.
- Look before you lock a vehicle to ensure no child is left in the back seat. At least 11 kids have died in hot cars this year. Visit nsc.org/hotcars to take a free, 15-minute training on preventing pediatric vehicular heatstroke.
- Learn about your vehicle’s safety systems and how to use them. Visit MyCarDoesWhat.org for information.
- Fix recalls immediately. Before you hit the road, visit ChecktoProtect.org to ensure your vehicle does not have an open recall.
The Council wishes everyone a safe and joyful holiday, free from preventable injuries.