GET TO YOUR FOURTH OF JULY DESTINATION SAFELY
KNOW HOW TO AVOID DRUNK DRIVERS
With millions of drivers hitting the road this Fourth of July holiday, playing it
safe when behind the wheel takes on even greater importance.
Unfortunately, the Independence Day holiday period is one of the deadliest
times for being on the road.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that
every 40 minutes and nearly 40 times a day, someone in the United States
dies in an alcohol impaired traffic crash. NHTSA also reports:
In 2007, 34% of all drivers involved in traffic related crashes during the
Fourth of July holiday period had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08
Of the 200 traffic related fatalities that occurred during the July 4th
holiday period of 2007, 44% involved a driver or motorcyclist with a BAC
of .08 or higher.
"Despite the best efforts of police departments and law enforcement
agencies, people who shouldn't be driving are still on the road," said Linda
Moynihan, Regional Sales Leader for the Midwest Region of Allstate
Insurance. "Even when you're not on the road, you can help save lives by
being a responsible party host, preventing friends and acquaintances from
driving drunk and reporting suspicious drivers."
The national organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) lists the
following warning signs for spotting a drunk driver on the road:
Straddling lanes or driving on the center line
Drifting or moving in a straight line at a slight angle to the roadway
Driving with headlights off at night
Erratic braking or stopping without cause
Driving below the speed limit
Slow response to traffic signals (sudden stop, delayed start)
Nearly striking an object, curb, etc
Weaving or zigzagging across the road
Driving on the wrong side of the road or completely off the roadway
To protect families from drunk drivers over the July 4th holiday period, here
are some life-saving tips from Allstate and the National Safety Council:
Don't ever drink and drive. If you know you will be drinking alcohol, use a
designated driver or public transportation
If you spot an impaired driver on the highway, maintain a safe following
distance and don't attempt to pass.
Report a suspected drunk driver immediately to area law enforcement from
your car phone or a pay phone. Give police as much information (i.e., license
plate number, make, model and color of vehicle, direction vehicle is traveling,
physical description of driver) as possible. Do not try and stop the vehicle.
Make sure children are properly fastened in seatbelts or child safety seats
in the back seat every time they ride in a car. Six out of ten children killed in
crashes are not restrained. Children age 12 and under should always ride in
the back seat, especially in vehicles with air bags.
Allow enough travel time for frequent breaks on longer trips. Drowsiness
can reduce reaction time almost as much as drinking.
Whether you plan to hit the open road or stay close to home, celebrate
America's independence safely by knowing how to diffuse a potentially
dangerous driving situation. Don't remember the Fourth of July for all the