JULY 4TH BRINGS INCREASED THREAT OF DRUNK-DRIVING ACCIDENTS

July 4th is a time for celebration, relaxation, and a much-needed respite from the demands of our everyday lives. The extended holiday weekend provides us with time to take a short vacation, attend parties and other events, or host our own gatherings with family and friends. Unfortunately, the increased activity on New Jersey roadways, coupled with the prevalence of alcohol during July 4th festivities, creates a dangerous combination that may lead to car accidents caused by drunk driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration, there were 397 fatalities resulting from motor vehicle crashes over the July 4th weekend in 2014. Among those accidents, 41 percent of those killed, or 164 people, died in an accident involving at least one driver with a blood alcohol content that registered over the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Additionally, 113 of those fatal accidents involved at least one driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.15, which is nearly double the legal limit in New Jersey.

According to the National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration, there were 397 fatalities resulting from motor vehicle crashes over the July 4th weekend in 2014. Among those accidents, 41 percent of those killed, or 164 people, died in an accident involving at least one driver with a blood alcohol content that registered over the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Additionally, 113 of those fatal accidents involved at least one driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.15, which is nearly double the legal limit in New Jersey.

The New Jersey State Police issues a Fatal Crash Report each year, including a break-down of fatal crashes by holiday. Notably, the July 4th weekend can be 3 days during some years, while in others it lasts for 4 days. The report notes these changes, documenting fatal crashes within the given period each year. This year, many individuals will have a 4-day weekend, with no work on Friday or Monday. The last time July 4th was a 4-day weekend in New Jersey, in 2013, there were 3 fatal car crashes and 3 people killed during that 4-day period. This, of course, does not account for all of the accidents that did not result in fatalities.

Due to the prevalence of drunk-driving car accidents in New Jersey and across the country during the weekend of July 4th, it is essential to take safety measures to protect yourself and your family while traveling on New Jersey roadways. Some of these steps include:

  • Designating a sober driver
  • Taking public transportation
  • Calling a taxi or car service such as Uber
  • Contacting local or state law enforcement if you suspect that another person is driving under the influence
  • If you are having a gathering at your home, take the keys of anyone who you believe is too intoxicated to drive and stop serving individuals who are visibly intoxicated

Unfortunately, some circumstances are simply outside of your control. If you are injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, contact an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney as soon as possible. At Smith & Doran, our highly skilled personal injury lawyers work tirelessly to achieve the compensation you deserve. We also represent the families of victims who are killed in fatal car accidents, holding negligent parties accountable through wrongful death lawsuits. Contact our offices in Morristown today at 973-261-6254 for additional information and a cost-free consultation.

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