Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council estimates 409 deaths and 49,500 injuries requiring medical attention will occur on our nation's roadways this Fourth of July holiday weekend. This is the highest predicted number the Council has released for a three-day Independence Day holiday since 2008.
The holiday period falls on a weekend – from 6 p.m., Thursday, July 2 to 11:59 p.m., Sunday, July 5 – and summer weekends are especially deadly. Six of the 10 deadliest nights of 2013 were Saturday nights in the summer.[i]
"Drivers always need to be vigilant, but this weekend, focus on the safety of your family," said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. "A few precautions can help ensure a memorable weekend. Spending the holiday with family is preferable to spending time in the ER."
NSC recommends the following tips for traveling safely this holiday:
- Buckle up. The Council estimates 155 lives will be saved during this period because seat belts are worn. An additional 99 lives could be saved if all buckled up.
- Reduce your speed. More speeding-related fatalities occur during the summer months than any other time of year.
- Refrain from using cell phones– hands-free or handheld – when driving. Drivers talking on cell phones are up to four times as likely to crash.
- Place children in age-appropriate safety seats. Child restraints saved an estimated 284 lives in 2012 among children younger than 5.
- Don't drink and drive. If you do drink, designate a nondrinking driver or take an alternative form of transportation.
- Stay engaged with your teens' driving habits. An NSC survey found many parents are more inclined to loosen household driving rules during the summer.
- Learn about your vehicle's safety systems and how to use them with the new online resource, My Car Does What?
*Supplemental Independence Day Holiday Traffic Fatality Estimate Detail
About the National Safety Council
Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council, nsc.org, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety, prescription drug overdoses and Safe Communities.
[i] According to NSC analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration FARS data, 2013