Independence day is all about fireworks, picnics, baseball games, and barbeques. Enjoying fun and games on the 4th of July is important, but what about staying safe on the road? A recent study showed that between 2013-2017 1,923 fatal crashes occurred during the Fourth of July weekend in the United States, killing 2,110 people. Pedestrian fatalities increased 46 percent during this period, with drunk driving fatalities rising significantly as well. 

Stay safe this holiday weekend by following these safe driving tips. 

Buckle Up

Protect your loved ones by making sure everyone is safely secure in your vehicle before you start driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), seat belts reduce serious crash-related deaths and injuries by approximately 50%. It’s also important that children and infants are properly secured in safe and age-appropriate car seats. 

Don’t Drink and Drive

It is currently illegal in all 50 states to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above 0.08 percent. Just because the 4th of July weekend is a time to celebrate does not mean it is an excuse to drive while under the influence of alcohol. If you do decide to drink, always choose a designated driver in the group who will not be drinking. According to the CDC, the amount of alcohol in one 12-ounce beer is the same as one 5-ounce glass of wine or 1.5-ounce shot of liquor.   

Follow Speed Limits

You’ll most likely be sharing the road with thousands of other vehicles during the 4th of July weekend. Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination to avoid feeling rushed. Speeding will only increase your likelihood of an accident, especially at night and in the rain.

Safely Load SUVs

Additional weight can destabilize SUVs. If you drive one of these vehicles, it is important that you load them more carefully than you would a sedan. Due to their high center of gravity, SUVs are more prone to tipping when weighed down with additional equipment and passengers. 

Secure Your Pet

Most people are likely to wear a seatbelt while driving, but what about your dog? Protect your furry best friend by securing them with a harness seatbelt or in a crate that is strapped down. A hurtling crate or a loose pet can be at risk of flying through the windshield in the event of a sudden stop.