The Fourth of July weekend is upon us and for those of you getting ready to hit the road, a word of warning. Celebrating the July 4th is fun, but it can also be dangerous. It’s one of the most deadly holidays of the year due to drunk driving accidents.
Some of the most recent data comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA reports that in 2013, 512 people were killed in car accidents that involved at least one drunk driver over the July 4th holiday. More than half of deadly accidents between 9pm and midnight were alcohol related and add to that, around one in five of those drivers had a blood alcohol content, BAC, of .15 or higher, which is nearly twice the legal limit.
You’ve heard it before, but it can’t be said enough. One of the best ways to keep prevent drunk driving is to designate a driver ahead of timer, get a ride from a friend, or take a taxi.
In fact, Mothers Against Drunk Driving is teaming up for Uber for the 2nd year in efforts to prevent drunk driving. Uber will MADD will match every donation made to MADD through Sunday, July 5th, up to $25,000. In a blog post, the organization says “MADD wants to thank all of the Uber driver-partners for being a go-to option when someone needs a non-drinking designated driver.” According to its numbers, nearly 200 people are killed in drunk driving crashes every year over the 4th weekend.
“This Fourth of July weekend, we are partnering with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to thank thousands of Uber driver-partners for making sure revelers have access to a safe ride home,” Uber says on its website. “As part of this nationwide public service campaign, we are asking our riders to help us support this important mission by taking the MADD pledge to not drink and drive.”
NHTSA has also released a SaferRide app that allows people to call a taxi or a sober friend and identifies their location so that they can be easily picked up. It’s available on both Android and Apple devices as a free download.
The bottom line is that not only is drunk driving against the law, with the average DUI fine costing about $10,000, but the ultimate cost is just not worth it. So if you see a friend about to drive drunk, take their keys and call a taxi, and don’t take it personally if someone does the same for you.