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For Immediate Release,
Contact:
Kathy Lane
Communications Director
(630) 775-2307
kathy.lane@nsc.org
 

Holiday Traffic Fatality Estimates:

As people across the country pack up their cars and hit the road this Independence Day weekend, it is important to note the risks of driving on a holiday weekend.

This year, the National Safety Council estimates 374 traffic deaths will occur over the holiday period which extends from 6:00 p.m. Friday, July 1, to 11:59 p.m. Monday, July 4. Nonfatal medically consulted injuries, i.e. injuries serious enough that a medical professional was consulted, are estimated at 36,300.

Impaired Driving:

To address impaired driving, the National Highway Traffic Administration has launched its Fourth of July Impaired Driving Prevention Campaign. NSC offers the following tips:

  • If you are drinking, do not drive.
  • If you plan to drink, designate a non-drinking driver.
  • If there is a young driver in your family, strictly enforce a zero tolerance policy with alcohol. All states have a 21-year-old drinking age law.
  • Your best defense against a drunk driver is wearing your safety belt. 

Fireworks:

The National Safety Council advises the best way to safely enjoy this 4th of July is to watch a public fireworks display conducted by professionals. However, if fireworks are legal where you live and you decide to use them, be sure to follow these important safety tips:

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks. Older children should use fireworks only under close adult supervision.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, in a clear outdoor area away from onlookers, houses and flammable materials.
  • Do not aim fireworks at another individual and never place any part of your body over a firework.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire, and do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks. If you are in an area experiencing drought-like conditions, reconsider using fireworks due to the increase in fire risk.
  • “Safe and sane” fireworks are neither. Fireworks and sparklers are designed to explode or throw off showers of hot sparks.  

Drowning:

In 2007, drowning claimed the lives of 3,443 people. Although all age groups are represented, more than one in five drowning victims are children 14-years-old and younger.

  • When visiting a pool, water park or body of water this weekend, pay close attention to children at all times. A lifeguard may be present, but they should not be considered a babysitter.
  • Teach your children to never swim alone or dive into unknown bodies of water and to always use approved flotation devices. 

Hot Weather:

Nice weather is ideal for celebrations but can present serious hazards, especially to children and the elderly.

  • Heatstroke and heat exhaustion are serious, life-threatening illnesses characterized by an extreme rise in body temperature.
  • If you are concerned that someone is suffering from overheating, move them to the shade and call for emergency assistance, if necessary.
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