Each year, newspapers and police campaigns warn drivers about the dangers of the Fourth of July holiday on the roads. A recent study by the University of Alabama backs up this general warning and adds some interesting details.
The study looked at Alabama crash statistics for the first week of July for the last five years. It found there were 25% fewer crashes on July 4 itself than the average day in that week. The date with the most crashes was July 5. However, crashes that occur on July 4 are 20% times more likely to result in a fatality than those on other days in the first week of July.
How does the first week of July compare to the rest of the year?
It is not surprising that alcohol and drugs play a significant role in making the Fourth of July holiday a dangerous time to be on the roads:
- Crashes involving alcohol were 4.8 times more likely during the first week of July
- Crashes involving drugs were 6.4 times more likely during the first week of July
A larger percentage of collisions occurred at night when people are more likely to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
How can you stay safe if driving during the Fourth of July holiday week?
There are two points to staying safe on the roads during the first week of July. First, you can ensure you are fit to drive. If you are going out to celebrate, leave the car at home.
Second, you need to drive with extra caution. Ensure everyone has seat belts on. Allow additional time and drive more slowly — a few miles an hour slower can increase the chance you survive a car crash. If you stay on high alert and assume the worst of other drivers, it reduces the chance you need to claim compensation because one of them has crashed into you.