ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Americans love celebrating the Fourth of July. It’s a time to kick back in a lawn chair with family and friends, throw some hot dogs on the grill, and throw down a few drinks. Unfortunately, a ‘few’ drinks can be deadly for irresponsible drivers traveling this weekend.
About 750 people lost their lives in crashes involving drivers who were over the limit, according to data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over a five-year period. NHTSA said these deadly crashes accounted for nearly half of all motor vehicle fatalities over the same five years.
Rochester car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes said drinking and driving over the holiday weekend is no way to celebrate.
Drunk driving could be a major problem this weekend in Rochester,” car accident lawyer Steve Barnes said. “The fact that the holiday falls on a Saturday could make the streets even more dangerous.”
The National Safety Council predicts that 409 Americans will be killed in car accidents this weekend and another 50,000 will be injured. If the council’s prediction comes true, this Fourth of July will be the deadliest Independence Day since 2008.
The council said higher levels of traffic and an expected increase in drunk driving attributed to its gloomy prediction.
“Anytime you get in a car, you’re taking a bigger risk this weekend,” Barnes said. “Even the responsible drivers who don’t drink could put themselves in the path of a drunk driver and there could millions of them on the road this weekend.”
In years past, Americans not only drove to holiday parties; they also downed about 70 million cases of beer last year, which is more than any other holiday (including St. Patrick’s Day and New Years Eve). With the Fourth falling on a Saturday, even more alcohol could be flowing.
Couple the alcohol with an expected 40 million drivers on the road (which is the highest in eight years), Barnes said some families could be ripped from their parties to make a visit to the emergency room.