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The dangers of drunk driving around the summer holidays

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Motor vehicle crashes

Summer brings many celebrations, particularly on holidays like July 4th and Labor Day. These holidays often involve festive gatherings where alcohol consumption is common.

While these events can be fun, they can also lead to an increase in drunk driving accidents. In New Jersey and nationwide, the risk of serious motor vehicle accidents, injuries and even fatalities rises during these times.

Risks of impaired driving

In 2022, 487 people died in traffic crashes during the Fourth of July holiday period. Forty percent of those fatalities occurred in drunk driving crashes. The 21-34 age group had the highest percentage of intoxicated drivers at 50 percent.

Drunk driving poses a serious threat to everyone on the road. Alcohol impairs your ability to make sound judgments and reduces your reaction time. Intoxicated driving can result in catastrophic accidents, causing significant harm to yourself and others.

The consequences of drunk driving extend beyond physical injuries. Legal repercussions can include fines, license suspension and even jail time. Additionally, the emotional toll on people involved in accidents and their families can be devastating. Victims often face long recovery periods, financial strain from medical bills and the pain of losing loved ones.

Tips to stay safe

When you drive, it is important to stay alert and cautious, especially during holidays. Watch for signs of impaired driving, such as swerving or erratic speed changes. Keep a safe distance from any driver you suspect is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Taking precautions during the summer holidays is necessary in order to protect yourself and others. Plan ahead if you know you will drink alcohol. Arrange for a designated driver or use a rideshare service. These options can ensure you get home safely without putting others at risk.

If you host a Fourth of July or Labor Day gathering, it is a good idea to provide plenty of non-alcoholic beverages. This simple gesture can prevent guests from feeling pressured to drink and drive. Avoid letting friends or family members drive if they have been drinking. Offer to help them find a safer way home, such as calling a cab or providing a place to stay until they sober up.

By understanding the dangers of drunk driving and taking proactive steps to ensure safety, you can contribute to a safer environment for everyone.