4th of July Road Safety Tips, from the National Safety Council

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 percent 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 percent 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.

Drivers can take measures to protect themselves. Tips to ensure a safer holiday weekend include:

  • Practicing defensive driving. Buckle up, designate a sober driver or arrange alternative transportation, get plenty of sleep to avoid fatigue, and drive attentively, avoiding distractions. Visit nsc.org for defensive driving tips.
  • Recognizing the dangers of drugged driving, including impairment from prescription opioids. Visit StopEverydayKillers.org to understand the impact of the nation’s opioid crisis.
  • Staying engaged in teens’ driving habits. Visit DriveitHOME.org for resources.
  • Learning about your vehicle’s safety systems and how to use them. Visit MyCarDoesWhat.org for information.
  • Fixing recalls immediately. Visit ChecktoProtect.org to ensure your vehicle does not have an open recall.
  • Asking lawmakers and state leaders to protect travelers on state roadways. Read the State of Safety report to find out which states have the strongest and weakest traffic safety laws.
  • Joining the Road to Zero coalition to understand how safety professionals are addressing motor vehicle fatalities. Visit nsc.org/roadtozero to get involved.
  • Looking before you lock a vehicle to ensure no child is left behind in the back seat. At least 18 kids have died in hot cars this year.

The National Safety Council is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Find out more at nsc.org.

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