With the summer in full swing and the July. 4th holiday marking the start of the month of July, it may not come as a surprise to learn that, in the United States, there are more drunk-driving related crashes in July than any other month. However, it may surprise you to learn just how frequently occur, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reporting that someone in the U.S. is killed in a drunk driving collision every 48 minutes in the month of July.
Taking closer look at this statistic and what it means for those celebrating July. 4th this year, CNN interviewed the national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, who pointed out that the number of events where drinking has become central to the festivities is part of the reason why July is such a deadly month on U.S. roads. And as many people take the opportunity to celebrate all weekend long, the opportunities for drunk-driving related collisions is increased.
"About 40% of all traffic deaths were alcohol-related during the 4th of July week in 2017 (the most recent year with available data from NHTSA). That year, 10,874 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes -- an average of one alcohol-impaired-driving fatality every 48 minutes."
The takeaway, as both CNN and Mothers Against Drunk Driving point out, is not to curb celebrations, but to ensure that any celebrations you partake in this year are as safe as possible. That could mean staying off the roads, but it could also mean ensuring that designated drivers have been appointed and plans put into place to ensure no one is getting behind the wheel of a vehicle drunk. While we don't have control over the actions of others, we do have control over what we do and, in acting responsibly, we can make a difference.
For more on the NHTSA's findings, read the original article on CNN.