top of page
  • Selina Barker

Drive Safe this 4th of July

Two people sharing an American flag as a blanket as they watch a busy street in the evening
Photo by Courtney Hedger on Unsplash

The 4th of July is a dangerous day to drive. The social aspect of the holiday creates a perfect storm of distraction, drunkenness, and delays that cause a spike in traffic accidents every year.

The fourth of July consistently has one of the top 10 highest rates of driving distracted of all annual holidays in the United States. According to Cambridge Mobile Telematics, the other most distracted driving days are Christmas, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, Labor Day, the day of the Super Bowl, and the night of the Oscars.


“From 2018 to 2022, there were 2,228 people killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the Fourth of July holiday period — 39% of the drivers killed were drunk.”

Drunk driving doesn’t just affect the driver, but often results in a crash that injures or kills sober, responsible drivers and their passengers who are hit by a drunk driver. Drunk driving is especially a problem for teenagers and young men. “Car crashes are a leading cause of death for teens, and almost a third of young drivers killed in fatal crashes involved underage drinking. Most of the drunk driving cases of 2022 involved “the 21-to 24-year-old age group. Men are most likely to be involved in this type of crash, with four male drunk drivers for every female drunk driver.”

It is not safe to drive with any amount of alcohol in a person’s system, and the best way to ensure a safe trip after drinking is to be driven by a sober driver either in a taxi, rideshare, or by a friend who has not had anything to drink. Plan your safe ride home for this 4th of July, or volunteer to be a designated sober driver to get your loved ones home safe.


Distracted driving rates soar on holidays. Coordinating meetups and excursions means a lot more digital communication than a regular day. As people drive to and from holiday activities and visiting loved ones, they are sending and receiving texts, checking apps, making and picking up calls, and spending valuable seconds with their eyes off the road and on their phones.

“NHTSA reports that there were 1,460 drivers killed on US roadways on the 4th of July from 2017 through 2021. Distracted driving rises by 4.7% and expands by 2.4% on July 4th.”

According to a Cambridge Mobile Telematics survey, Instagram is used the most of any app while driving. They found that cases of phone use while driving “rise consistently from April through July, where they reach their peak of the year at 2 minutes and 16 seconds per hour.” By now a famous statistic, it has been proven that if you check your phone while driving on the highway, you have traveled the length of a football field without looking at the road. That means that in July, Americans are driving hundreds of feet without looking at the road.

“…there’s a lingering impact of phone use as well — researchers have found a “distraction hangover” where the brain takes 27 seconds to refocus on the road after the driver uses a voice-to-text feature.”

This means that the time drivers spend on their phones is not the only time they are distracted by them – for many seconds after they put their phones down or stop talking into it, their brains are still not fully focused on the road.


“The spring months see the highest speeding levels of the year, with an average of 2 minutes and 48 seconds [per hour]. In July, speeding escalates to 2 minutes and 53 seconds [per hour], the most of any month. This is also during the peak of the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer, when more than 50% of teen road fatalities happen in just three months.”

According to the United States Department of Transportation, “running late is one of the leading reasons given for aggressive driving, and the most frequently-cited excuse for following too quickly and passing on the right.” Increased social pressure and time-sensitive activities and events results in more people running (and driving) late and committing dangerous stunts in an effort to shave a few seconds off of their travelling time. It is always better to arrive late than to never arrive at all because of a traffic accident.

The people you spend your holidays with would rather you arrive late, with no texts or calls made, than for you to risk your life and the lives of those around you by driving distracted, drunk, or irresponsibly.




bottom of page