According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving accounted for 29 percent (10,511) of traffic deaths in 2018. With Fourth of July festivities wrapping up in the evening or late at night, more cars will be on the roads after the sun goes down. In 2018 alone, 193 people died in traffic crashes nationwide over the July 4th holiday period (6 p.m. July 3 to 5:59 a.m. July 5). Forty percent (78) of those fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes. This compares to 2017 when 38 percent of July 4 travel period fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired crashes.
According to the Georgia State Patrol, 26 people were killed in traffic crashes statewide during last year’s 102-hour July 4 holiday period that began at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3 and ended at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 7. Troopers made 422 DUI arrests and issued more than 29,000 citations and warnings during the holiday weekend.
While Georgians are still being asked to follow all COVID-19 guidelines recommended by the Georgia Department of Public Health during their celebration of our nation’s independence, GOHS offers the following tips for enjoying a safe July 4th on Georgia roads:
- If you won’t be drinking, let friends and family know you can pick them up if needed.
- Offer to drive if someone is too impaired to get behind the wheel and you are sober to drive.
- If you will be drinking, arrange a designated driver ahead of time.
- Reward designated drivers with free non-alcoholic beverages.
- Plan to use a rideshare service or call a cab.
- Make sure you and everyone in your vehicle is wearing their seat belt.
- Keep your attention on the road. Georgia is a hands-free state so put down your phones while driving.