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Be safe on the road this Fourth of July weekend


Photo: Chansak Joe/iStockphoto

Itasca, IL — Around 619 people may be killed in roadway crashes during the Fourth of July weekend, according to estimates from the National Safety Council.

The nonprofit organization calls the upcoming holiday weekend one of the “riskiest” of the year for all road users and urges everyone to be safe “because lives depend on it.”

Summertime – especially long holiday weekends – is a popular time to travel, celebrate and enjoy life, notes Mark Chung, executive vice president of roadway practice at NSC.

“Unfortunately, the uptick in motor vehicle crashes puts a damper on this joy each year,” Chung adds. “If 619 people do perish in this single weekend, it’s nothing less than a tragedy because these deaths are preventable. This is what gives NSC and other safety advocates across public and private sectors hope; there are ways to end this national crisis. Let’s do our part to be safer people so we can all live our fullest lives.”

Here’s what you can do:
Buckle up: Lack of seat belt use is a top cause of fatalities in crashes. Make sure you have appropriate car seats installed correctly, too.
Designate a sober driver or arrange alternate transportation: Data shows that 39% of fatalities that occur during the Fourth of July holiday period involve an alcohol-impaired driver – one of the highest percentages among all of the major holidays. Alcohol isn’t the only cause of impaired driving, either. Drugs – including opioids, marijuana and some over-the-counter medicines – can cause drowsiness, alter visual functions, and affect mental judgment and motor skills.
Don’t drive when you’re tired: Make sure you’re well-rested before hitting the road.
Slow down: Speeding was a factor in 29% of all traffic deaths in 2021. Pay attention to speed limits. And keep a close eye out for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Check your vehicle: Before heading out, check the oil and tire pressure, and visit to see if your vehicle has an open recall. (Repairs are free.)
Drive distraction-free: Thousands of people have died in car crashes involving cellphone use. Put your phone away and #JustDrive.
Look before you lock: Kids being left in hot cars is still the leading cause of non-crash motor vehicle-related death for children. Always check your back seat for kids and pets when you reach your destination.

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