This week, thousands of teens and adults will flock to beaches, picnics, barbecues and other social events to celebrate the Fourth of July. However, the beloved holiday isn’t so carefree. Between 6 p.m. July 3 and 11:59 p.m. July 7, the National Safety Council estimates there will be 540 traffic fatalities and another 54,800 medically-consulted injuries due to car crashes.
On a brighter note, NSC estimates 196 lives could be saved if drivers buckled up, and an additional 135 lives could be saved if all passengers wore seat belts.
NSC recommends all drivers remember the following to ensure a safer Fourth of July:
- Refrain from using cell phones – handheld or hands-free – while driving
- Put cell phones on silent or turn them off to avoid temptation
- Safely pull over and put the vehicle in park to take or make a call
- Always wear a seat belt and make sure passengers wear them, too
- Have children sit in the back seat and use proper child seats
- If you plan to drive alcohol, designate a driver before you head out
Teens, whose crash risk already is three times that of more experienced drivers, should be particularly careful. Remember not to allow teen drivers to carry any passengers, including siblings, and to be off the roads before 10 p.m. Parents, if your teen plans to be out later, make other travel arrangements. Don’t ever sacrifice safety for convenience.
You can brush up on ways to keep your teen driver safe at DriveitHOME.org.