According to the San Francisco Gate, more Californians are planning on traveling out of town this 4th of July, about 4.8 million. That is the highest number since 2003. Nationwide the trend is the same. Reuters reports that Americans will travel an average of 150 miles more this year over last year. In addition, 84% of Americans will travel by car. Lower gas prices seem to be one factor that is driving patriots farther from home for the holiday. Another big reason for the spike in long distance travelers is that the mid-week holiday is convincing many employees to take the whole week off.
However, more traffic means more accidents on the roads and 4th of July is always a dangerous day for drivers and their passengers. The National Safety Council is predicting that about 173 people will be killed in traffic accidents this 4th of July. It also estimates the number of injuries requiring medical attention will reach about 17,300. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) is reminding everyone with its fact sheet “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” that 4th of July is one of the deadliest holidays because more Americans decide to drive impaired. In 2010, alcohol was cited as a factor in 31% of fatal auto accidents. However, on 4th of July, 2010 that figure jumped to 39% of the 392 fatal motor vehicle accidents that occurred. Impaired drinking is a bigger problem at night, and of the alcohol related fatalities from two years ago, 80% occurred at night. Younger people are more likely to be involved in auto accidents in general. Moreover, the NHTSA reports that on 4th of July, 2010 alcohol was a factor in 50% of fatalities that involved a young driver. Therefore, law enforcement will be out in full force watching out for impaired drivers.
Drunk driving is not the only bad behavior to watch out for. MarketWatch cites the Safer Roads Report: 2012, which found that Californians run more red lights during the 4th of July holiday than on any other travel heavy holiday. The report says that Californians run 42.6% more red lights than during the Super Bowl, the “holiday” with the least red light violations in the state. Florida, Maryland, and Texas followed California for the most 4th of July red light violators, with an average of 38.3% more violations versus those states’ safest travel holiday.
The Brod Law Firm would like to remind everyone to travel safe this 4th of July. Have a very happy holiday!
See Related Blog Posts: Fourth of July Fireworks Safety
Greg Brod is an experienced personal injury lawyer serving communities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. The Brod Law Firm represents victims of auto accidents and personal injuries of all kinds. Contact us today for a free consultation.