The only “bang” you should hear on Independence Day is from the fireworks: To ensure safe 4th of July trips, drive sober and without distractions
A record number of people will be taking to Michigan’s roadways for their 4th of July trips this Independence Day – nearly 1.6 million Michiganders.
Our country’s independence is worth celebrating, and our attorneys think it would be wonderful to celebrate a July Fourth that is as free of car crashes and crash-related injuries and deaths as possible.
We hope you’ll take to heart these safe driving tips:
- Drive carefully and cautiously – as if your family’s and your life depends on it. Fatal Fourth of July car crashes have increased between 2014-2017.
- Drive sober. Nearly 50% of the fatal 4th of July crashes in Michigan in 2017 involved alcohol.
- Don’t ride with someone who has been drinking.
- If you’ve been drinking – or if your “ride” has been drinking – then make safer arrangements to get home. Have a designated driver. Call a taxi or an Uber or a Lyft. Or just stay where you are until you’re sober and safe to drive.
- Avoid distracted driving. If you’re texting while driving, you’re 23 times more likely to be involved in a car crash. And, if you’re dialing a hand-held cell phone, then you’re 12 times more likely to crash.
- Watch your speed! Not only will state and local police officers will be out in full force over the holiday, but more importantly speed kills: “Excessive speed was indicated as the hazardous action by 12.4 percent of the drivers involved in fatal crashes.” (“2016 Quick Facts,” 2016 Michigan Traffic Crash Facts)
Fatal crashes and fatalities in Michigan during 4th of July trips
Below are the Michigan statistics for deadly car crashes over the Fourth of July holiday:
- 2017: 14 fatal car crashes with 14 fatalities (6 “alcohol involved crashes”)
- 2016: 13 fatal car crashes with 13 fatalities (4 “alcohol-related fatal crashes”)
- 2015: 11 fatal car crashes with 12 fatalities (8 “alcohol-related fatal crashes”)
- 2014: 11 fatal car crashes with 12 fatalities (3 “alcohol-related fatal crashes”)
(Sources: “2017 Michigan Holiday Traffic Fatalities,” Michigan State Police Traffic Crash Reporting Unit; “5 year trends-Fatal crashes and persons killed for select holiday periods in Michigan,” 2016 Michigan Traffic Crash Facts)
Fatal car accidents across the country during 4th of July trips
Below are the national statistics for deadly auto accidents over the Independence Day holiday, according to NHTSA’s July 4th 2018 “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Fact Sheet:
- “Over the 2016 Fourth of July holiday (6 p.m. July 2 to 5:59 a.m. July 6), 188 people were killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .08 or higher. This is a 28-percent increase from 2015, during which 146 people were killed during the same holiday period.”
- “During the 2016 July Fourth holiday period, nearly half of those who died in a vehicle crash were involved in a crash with at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .15 or higher—almost twice the legal limit.”
- “Alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes during the 2016 July Fourth holiday period was more than three times higher at night than it was during the day.”
- “From 2012 to 2016, there were 780 people killed in drunk-driving crashes over the Fourth of July holiday periods.”