4th of July Car Safety
The Fourth of July is a time honored celebration of the history of our great nation. It is also the busiest travel holiday of the summer season. A weekend that is looked forward to for many Americans to get away and enjoy the outdoors.
Unfortunately, much of the revelry involves alcohol and since it is a heavily traveled weekend, that means more impaired drivers than usual. The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the 4th of July weekend accounts for more traffic deaths than any other holiday–more than New Years day in most years. More than half of the fatalities are alcohol related.
The NHTSA also reports that most deaths occur on 2-lane roads and at night.
For far too many Americans, this 4th of July may be their last.
Avoid becoming a tragic statistic. Take these simple steps to to stay safe on the road this 4th of July:
- Be responsible, don’t drive if you’ve been drinking. Have a designated driver who has not imbibed.
- Stay off the roads between midnight and 3 am; this is when the majority of drunk drivers are on the road.
- Be alert; most drunk drivers cause accidents by running head on into people by crossing lanes or running red lights. Watch the road ahead for cars that are swerving, and at intersections look carefully when your light turns green for any cross traffic that might be ignoring their red light before entering the intersection.
- If your car stalls or is broken down, call for assistance and get out of the car and walk as far up an embankment as possible away from the car. Impaired drivers are attracted to tail lights and blinkers and have a tendency to crash into cars on the shoulder. Police cars are often struck while stopped to assist (ticket?!) motorists.
- Avoid breaking down on the road; temperatures are hot in July, especially this year, so before you leave make sure your oil and coolant are properly filled, that your tires are inflated to specs and you have plenty of gas. On a busy travel holiday, you may find yourself stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on a very hot day, so avoid problems by doing a little vehicle preventive maintenance.
- On the freeway, stay in the center lane; it gives you the most options for maneuvering should an accident occur in front of you. The far left and right lanes have more trouble and less options.