Avoid Driving Impaired This Fourth of July

It’s that time of year again – have you planned your July 4 celebrations? For some, BBQs and parades are on this weekend’s list. For others, baseball, hot dogs and spectacular firework displays may be part of the agenda. But sadly, some may take the celebration too far and get injured or pulled over due to driving impaired. In fact, over the past 25 years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that, “on average, nearly half of all deadly traffic crashes over each year’s July 4th holiday involved some level of alcohol.”

One Drink Could Be Deadly

“Many people mistakenly think that if they are just slightly impaired, they are still capable of driving,” But The National Safety Commission points out – “Buzzed driving is drunk driving.”

Truth is, alcohol consumption, no matter how little or frequent, affects a driver’s ability to properly manage a vehicle. And the effects are unpredictable. Blurred vision or lack of coordination only begins the list of impairments a driver may experience when driving under the influence.

And, if you think you can drive because, “I drank more last year and got home just fine,” think again. It’s next to impossible to know how alcohol consumption will impact your motor skills. One drink could very possibly act like several due to:

  • food consumption
  • chemical interactions with other medications
  • general health

Plan Your Way Home Before You Go

If you consume alcohol during your 4th of July festivities, have a plan for getting home safely.

As The National Safety Commission shares, everyone has options:

  • Designate a sober driver – give that person your keys
  • Call a taxi or use public transportation
  • Use your community’s Designated Driver Service – 217 counties and 40 states provide rides
  • Have a family member pick you up when the festivities end

Take the Sober Driver’s Pledge

Taking The Sober Driver’s Pledge ensures your family and friends will get home safely. This Pledge means taking responsibility for yourself, too, when alcohol is present. It’s not a vow to never drink again; it’s a full-time plan for preventing alcohol-related accidents. Knowing who’s driving ahead of time erases any awkward “you shouldn’t drive home” discussions. After pledging, your BBQ worries can instead focus on grilling techniques or charcoal supplies – and that’s not a bad thing.