For most Americans, July 4th means cook-outs, picnics, swimming, boating, time spent with family and friends and, of course, fireworks. But the nation’s birthday celebration is also one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities.
Cottman Transmission & Total Auto Care and its neighborhood car care centers throughout the nation remind drivers that police will be out in force during the days leading up to and including the Fourth of July, cracking down on impaired drivers. It’s part of the annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign, coordinated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). During the campaign, drivers who are pulled over and who are impaired will be arrested and charged, with no second chances and no excuses, NHTSA officials say.
Statistics gathered by NHTSA over the past 25 years show that, on average, nearly half of all deadly traffic crashes over each year’s July 4th holiday involved some level of alcohol impairment, up from the year-round average of about one-third. Impaired driving fatalities spike during nighttime hours, with the proportion of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes almost five times higher at night than during the day for the July 4th holiday period. More than 10,000 people die each year due to alcohol-related crashes.
Cottman offers several tips to avoid becoming a tragic July 4th statistic:
- Plan a safe way home before the fun begins;
- Before drinking, have a designated driver;
- If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;
- If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact local police.
- If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.”
All year long, we work hard to keep vehicles running smoothly and safely,” said Randy Wright, President of Cottman Transmission & Total Auto Care. “We encourage our customers and all drivers to be safe and smart about drinking and driving. Please don’t become a statistic.”
For more information on Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, visit www.nhtsa.gov/drivesober.