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Itasca, IL – National Safety Council calculations indicate 164 people may be killed on the road during the upcoming Fourth of July holiday period, and an additional 18,600 may be seriously injured in crashes.
That estimate is nearly 4% higher than the actual number of deaths – 157 – that occurred in 2012, the last time July 4 fell on a Wednesday. NSC urges motorists to be particularly vigilant about impaired drivers and to designate sober drivers, themselves. The Council’s analysis shows during the 2016 Independence Day period, 41% of fatalities involved an alcohol-impaired driver, the highest percentage among all the major holidays.
The one-day holiday period this year will begin at 6 p.m. ET Tuesday, July 3, and will end at 11:59 p.m. ET Wednesday, July 4.
"By sharing these estimates, the National Safety Council hopes to highlight the importance of being a safe, sober and attentive driver so that everyone can safely celebrate this July 4 holiday,” said NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman. “Independence Day should be about spending time with loved ones and watching fireworks, not about dealing with the tragic aftermath of a car crash.”
Unintentional, preventable injuries – commonly known as “accidents” – claimed a record high 161,374 lives in 2016 to become the third leading cause of death in the United States for the first time in recorded history. In fact, 2016 marked a 14% increase in roadway deaths since 2014 – the largest two-year jump in 53 years.
Drivers can take measures to protect themselves. Tips to ensure a safer holiday weekend include:
Supplemental information about the NSC motor vehicle fatality estimates for the July 4 holiday period can be found here.
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