Fourth of July Ranks among Deadliest Holidays on the Road
Alcohol-related crashes account for 34 percent of all crashes last year
Phoenix, Ariz., June 26, 2013. The Fourth of July holiday period is one of the deadliest times to be on the road.
Five fatal crashes occurred from July 3 to July 5 in 2012, resulting in six fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicle Crash Facts Report. All of these crashes were alcohol related. From 2008 to 2012 there were 48 fatal crashes during this time. These crashes resulted in 55 deaths.
“Increased holiday traffic combined with alcohol consumption makes the Fourth one of the most dangerous times on the road every year,” said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs for AAA Arizona. “As a leader in driver safety, AAA reminds motorists to make safety a top priority this Independence Day.”
AAA offers the following tips for Fourth of July road safety:
- Avoid distractions. This includes the use of handheld, hands-free and voice-activated devices. A recent AAA study found that while handheld and hands-free devices pose a mental distraction, voice-activated features pose an even higher risk. Designate a passenger to respond to calls, texts and navigate if you have one. Otherwise, focus on driving.
- Be patient. Of the 812,000 Arizonans traveling this holiday, eight out of 10 will be driving. This means busy streets and highways. The club is forecasting July 3 and July 7 will be the busiest travel days. Avoid peak commute times such as late afternoon and early evening if possible.
- Pledge to drive drug and alcohol free. Impairment plays a major role in holiday crashes. AAA urges drivers to pledge to drive safe and sober.
- As a last resort for drivers and to keep roads safe for everyone, AAA is offering its Tipsy Tow service statewide beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 4, and running through 6 a.m. Friday, July 5. To take advantage of Tipsy Tow, drivers, passengers, party hosts, bartenders and/or restaurant and resort managers should all 1-800-AAA-HELP (1-800-222-4357) during the service period and state that they need a Tipsy Tow.
Tipsy Tow provides a one-way ride for the driver, one passenger and their vehicle at no cost for up to 10 miles. Services will not be provided to motorists requesting a tow to another drinking establishment or to a destination other than their home. A tow to a hotel may be allowed if the motorist is, or plans to become, a guest.
AAA is a leader in driver safety. For more information, visit AAA.com/trafficsafety.
AAA Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and travel services to more than 825,000 Arizona members. Annually, AAA’s Roadside Assistance responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on Arizona roadways. The auto club also provides discounts and financial services to AAA members. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.