There are a lot of things to love about the Fourth of July: cookouts, new memories with family and friends, beaches, fireworks, and, yes, drinking. While there’s nothing wrong with kicking up your heels to celebrate the holiday on a sunny day outdoors, some of us take it too far, making Fourth of July the deadliest day of the year to be behind the wheel. Because nothing is worth putting your life at risk, here are three good reasons to take this year’s Independence Day celebration completely off the road:
1. More people die in traffic-related accidents on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year. It’s probably no surprise that the majority of crashes happen after dark, and half involve some degree of alcohol consumption. Even if you aren’t a big drinker, there’s no guarantee that you won’t find yourself sharing the road with someone who may have had one too many holiday cocktails.
2. Police checkpoints aren’t as effective as they sound. Despite efforts to curb drunk driving on holidays with increased checkpoints and police patrols, accident numbers show that little has changed. Many drivers who hit the road after drinking on Independence Day don’t realize just how many drinks they’ve really had throughout the day, and some simply don’t believe they will get caught.
3. Great weather has a downside. When the grill is on and the sun is shining, it’s hard to say no to another beer. Because the Fourth of July falls on a warm summer day, people tend to stay out and drink more than usual. By the time they’re ready to head back home, many partiers will be unsafe to drive
Besides being all-around safer with your feet on the ground, there’s something to be said for enjoying your holiday to the fullest your way, even if that means having a few drinks of your own. By taking driving out of the equation, you won’t have to worry about putting yourself or other drivers at risk for becoming another statistic.
If you’re heading over to a friend’s or relative’s house, ask to stay over. You can always offer to help clean up to sweeten the deal. When you absolutely have to drive, don’t indulge in drinking alcohol and leave the party on the early side to avoid bumping into the late-night revelers.
For more 4th of July tips read here.