Flurry of July 4th Accidents Are a Reminder to Drive Safely

WSOC Channel 9 Eyewitness News reported on Thursday that at least one car was involved in an automobile accident in which at least two pedestrians were hit and injured. The accident occurred on the corner of College Street and Stonewall Street in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, closing the intersection for a number of hours. While two of the victims were treated on the scene, five people in total (including three car passengers) were transferred to Carolinas Medical Center (CMC) for further treatment of serious injuries.

This car and pedestrian accident is one of many to happen on or surrounding the Fourth of July holiday each year. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Independence Day weekend is the second deadliest time of year for drivers in North Carolina and across the country (the deadliest is New Year’s). In 2004 alone, 253 people were killed on July 4, with the vast majority of those accidents involving drivers operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

What can you do to protect yourself and your family from car, truck, and pedestrian accidents during the summer holidays?
  • Drive defensively. Driving aggressively will only put you and your vehicle at higher risk, especially when there are impaired drivers on the road. Be vigilant, don’t assume you know what a driver is about to do, and keep an appropriate following distance from other drivers on the highway.
  • Know how to detect a drunk driver. If you see a car near you weaving, drifting, driving erratically, responding slowly, or stopping suddenly, keep your distance and call the police to report the incident. Don’t attempt to pass the vehicle or to stop the driver.
  • Buckle up. Make sure your passengers have their seat belts buckled and that your children are in their car seats.
  • Remember that drowsiness is an impairment, too. Even if you understand the dangers of driving drunk, you may not know that being sleepy behind the wheel is also a hazard to yourself and others. If you stay out late on the Fourth or have simply had a long day of celebrating, let someone else take the wheel or take a short nap until you are rested and ready to drive.

For more tips on driving safely during the summer holiday, please visit the National Safety Council’s page on driving defensively.
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