According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Fourth of July accounts for the highest number of car accidents year-round. This spike in collisions is partially due to the increased amount of traffic on the roads as people travel to their destination.
In addition, there is a sharp increase in drunk driving that accounts for a large portion of accidents. In fact, 47% of accidents on July Fourth involved drivers that were at or above the legal blood alcohol limit.
In an attempt to decrease the amount of accidents, the Colorado Police Department has implemented DUI checkpoints in the past and will likely be adding extra patrol again this year. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, in 2016, there were 312 drivers arrested for drunk driving over the holiday week.
How can you stay safe?
When traveling over the Fourth of July weekend, be extra vigilant. Be aware of the vehicles around you and drive accordingly.
Although you may not be able to anticipate other drivers’ actions, you may reduce your risk of a car collision by following these steps.
- Use your blinkers
- Follow the speed limit
- Don’t follow other cars too closely
- Ignore distractions
- Watch out for swerving or reckless drivers
If you notice another car driving recklessly, call the local Sheriff's department. Some signs of reckless driving include swerving, speeding, tailgating and frequently changing speed.
If you feel that the reckless driver may be putting you in harm’s way, pull to the side of the road and distance yourself from them. Be sure to give the dispatcher the car’s license plate number, the make and model of the car, the name of the road it is traveling on and the direction it is headed.
Providing this information to the local authorities may help keep you and other drivers safe as you travel this Independence Day weekend.