The deadliest day on the road is coming up soon — the Fourth of July. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), that’s because it’s a confluence of kids being out of school, people having the day off work and celebrations that traditionally include alcohol. This year, it’s also on a Saturday.
The drunk driving doesn’t stop when the fireworks end. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), July has more drunk driving fatalities than any other month. Pedestrians are among those killed in these crashes.
So what can you do to stay safe this Fourth?
The president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) recommends having a plan to get safety to and from your destination(s). That might been using Uber or Lyft, having a designated driver, planning to spend the night wherever you’re going or even taking public transportation. She says, “There are so many options now…it’s actually hard to believe and understand that drunk driving deaths are rising.”
An executive with IIHS adds that just obeying the laws can help people stay safe, even if they’re involved in a crash. He says, “Not only are a lot of deaths on July Fourth due to alcohol consumption, but a big factor in deaths throughout the year is people not taking the simple step of buckling their seat belts.”
If you’re going away for the holiday, AAA suggests that you plan your trip for the days preceding and following the Fourth (and that weekend). You’re less likely to run into as much traffic — or as many drunk drivers.
If you or a loved one is injured in a crash caused by a drunk driver, that driver will likely face criminal charges. However, you have a right to seek compensation through civil litigation to help you deal with medical bills and other expenses and damages.