July 2, 2020 | Washington, DC
This Fourth of July weekend, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is urging motorists to drive sober or designate a sober driver.
This holiday weekend is typically one of the deadliest of the year for impaired-driving crashes. From 2014 to 2018, 812 people died in crashes involving impaired drivers during the Fourth of July holiday period. Many substances can impair a driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle including alcohol, illegal drugs, as well as certain prescription and over-the counter medications.
“While we may still be social distancing, many Americans will be enjoying a fun and safe Fourth of July weekend with close family or a small group of friends," said NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens. “Another way to be safe is to ensure no one gets behind the wheel while under the influence. Impaired-driving deaths are 100% preventable – celebrate safely and never get behind the wheel after using alcohol or impairing drugs.”
Tips to Celebrate Safely
- If you expect to drink, make plans for a sober ride home.
- If you’re hosting a Fourth of July party, help your designated drivers by making sure there are plenty of non-alcoholic beverages.
- Have a friend who is about to drive impaired or under the influence? Help them make arrangements to get home safely.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, safely pull over and call 911.
NHTSA also recommends that drivers avoid distractions, obey the speed limit, and always wear a seat belt, long considered the best defense against an impaired driver.