A Sober Message for July 4th

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A Special Report from Mothers Against Drunk Driving

“Long holiday weekends can be dangerous on America’s roads, and July 4th and the days surrounding the national holiday are among the deadliest for drunk driving. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) urges everyone to celebrate safely by planning ahead and designating a non-drinking driver if plans include alcohol.

“More people die in drunk driving crashes in July than any other month, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The July 4th holiday is particularly deadly. In 2018, 193 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the July 4th holiday period (6 p.m. July 3 to 5:59 a.m. July 5). Forty percent (78) of those fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes. This compares to 2017 when 38% of the July 4 holiday period fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes. From 2014 to 2018, 812 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes over those 36-hours.


“’As we celebrate Independence Day, we want to make sure we keep ourselves and our families safe,’ said MADD National President Helen Witty. ‘A long holiday weekend can bring more traffic and more risk on our roads, especially this year, when so many of us have refrained from traveling for months. We want everyone to enjoy the holiday, just remember to designate a non-drinking driver every time plans include alcohol.’

“According to NHTSA, nighttime hours are especially dangerous. Over the 2018 July 4th holiday period, of the 78 people who died in alcohol-impaired motor vehicle traffic crashes, all but 9 of them occurred at night (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.).

“Drunk driving is the leading killer on America’s roads, accounting for one-third of all traffic deaths and claiming the lives of more than 10,000 people every year.

“Someone dies in a drunk driving crash every 50 minutes in the U.S., yet these senseless deaths are 100 percent preventable, 100 percent of the time. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving is helping create a future with No More Victims®. The campaign includes advocacy for stronger drunk driving laws including ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenders, support for high-visibility law enforcement, support for advanced drunk driving prevention technology in all cars and public support for these initiatives.

“MADD reminds everyone to take personal responsibility every day by using taxis, public transportation, rideshare services or calling a non-drinking friend if their plans include alcohol.

“About Mothers Against Drunk Driving

“Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 390,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology.”

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