NSC Urges Drivers to be Safe Over Independence Day Weekend

Analysis shows 400-580 people may die on U.S. roadways July 2-5.

June 29, 2021

Itasca, IL – With Independence Day marking another one of the most dangerous driving periods of the year, the National Safety Council is urging roadway users to exercise extra precaution this upcoming weekend. With July 4, 2021, falling on a Sunday, the observed Monday extends the weekend, making it even more important to practice safe driving behaviors.

“According to our estimates, 400-580 people may die on U.S. roads during the holiday weekend,” said Mark Chung, NSC vice president, roadway practice. “The National Safety Council calls on everyone planning to travel for the holiday to follow our safe driving tips to ensure you get to where you want to go as safely as possible. Your life and those you love may depend on it.”

Carlos Rosario, a Florida highway patrolman, is a survivor of a roadway crash. While on-the-job, he was on the shoulder of the highway when he was hit by a distracted driver. The driver hit Carlos and sent him flying, hitting the back of the cruiser and landing for his fellow state troopers to find.

Despite the life-threatening injuries Carlos sustained, he went on to recover fully and returned to work in less than two years after his accident. 

“I look around and everyone is on their phone. This is really serious, and I am on fire to educate people to let them know to put it down,” said Rosario. “Don’t use your phone while you are driving!”

As we celebrate the creation of our country, check out six tips for safer roads:

1. Drive distraction-free – Carlos was lucky. Thousands have died in crashes involving cell phone use. Put your phones away and #JustDrive.

2. Slow down – speeding is a factor in more than a quarter of all traffic fatalities. Do not exceed the speed limit and be sure to pay attention for those walking and biking in order to keep all road users safe.

3. Designate a sober driver – or arrange alternative mode of transportation. Alcohol is only one cause of impaired driving. Drugs, including opioid, cannabis and some over-the-counter medicines – can impair drivers by causing drowsiness, altering visual functions and affecting mental judgement and motor skills. 

4. Buckle up – seat belts are estimated to have saved 374,276 lives. Buckle up and make sure you have the appropriate car seats installed correctly for children.

5. Look before you lock – last year, 25 children died in hot cars. With temperatures rising across the country and the special occasion breaking routine, make it a priority to ensure you don’t leave the car without your child passengers.

6. Take an alternate path: For shorter trips, consider leaving the car at home and finding a safe biking or walking route to get when you’re headed.

For more tips, visit nsc.org/saferoads. Review supplemental information about the Independence Day holiday fatality estimates, and additional motor vehicle data and research at injuryfacts.nsc.org.  

About the National Safety Council

The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate – and has been for over 100 years. As a mission-based organization, we work to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing our efforts on the workplace, roadway and impairment. We create a culture of safety to not only keep people safer at work, but also beyond the workplace so they can live their fullest lives.

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