The 2019 fourth of July holiday period begins on July 3 and ends July 7.
This year, the National Safety Council (NSC) estimates 565 people may be killed on the road during the upcoming holiday, and an additional 64,500 may be seriously injured in crashes.
“As we celebrate one of our country’s most cherished holidays, we have to keep safety in mind,” said Lorraine M. Martin, NSC president and CEO, in a statement. “Sober and attentive driving could be the difference between watching fireworks and watching ambulance lights.”
The organization urges motorists to be particularly vigilant about impaired drivers and to designate sober drivers.
NSC's analysis shows during the 2017 Independence Day period, 39% of fatalities involved an alcohol-impaired driver, the highest percentage among all the major holidays.
According to the NSC, drivers should take the following measures to stay safe:
- Drive defensively. Buckle up, designate a sober driver or arrange alternative transportation, get plenty of sleep to avoid fatigue, and drive attentively, avoiding distractions.
- Recognize the dangers of drugged driving, including impairment from opioids.
- Stay engaged in teens’ driving habits.
- 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.