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The risks posed during Independence Day weekend travel


The coming Independence Day on July 4th will represent yet another turning point following more than a year of people masking up and staying home due to a worldwide pandemic. While Memorial Day saw travelers get out and about, restrictions in some states were still in place.

“Independence” has a different meaning this year, and it will likely be celebrated in unprecedented ways after a global pandemic.

A lengthy holiday weekend presents dangers

With excitement comes reality. Hundreds of people die while traveling U.S. roads, with the National Safety Council (NSC) continually projecting hundreds of deaths in car accidents. Last year, they predicted more than 400. The holiday falling on a Monday will only extend the revelry to a multiple-day celebration and the risks posed on the roads.

Travel by motor vehicle is popular with families throughout the country. Based on fatalities per passenger mile, this type of travel has the highest rate of deaths out of any other kind of transportation. A long weekend with alcohol-fueled activities will likely increase the risks of severe and fatal drunk driving accidents.

Statistics reveal that Independence Day celebrations last from 1.25 to 4.25 days. That number is based on the day of the week the holiday falls on any given year. With it falling on a Sunday with many having Monday off, parties and other activities will likely continue from Friday through Sunday or Monday.

Motor vehicle occupants can take proactive steps by using seatbelts and avoiding alcohol. However, few precautions can prevent a drunk driver from causing a catastrophic accident resulting in life-changing and life-ending consequences.