Anxious to ring in yet another birthday for our great country, people all across America are looking forward to celebrating this Independence Day, July 4th, which falls on a Tuesday this year. While this may preclude some folks from making it a long weekend holiday, there are some who have planned ahead and will be off work for four days total, out celebrating with family and friends.
The American Motorcyclist Association, (AMA), has come out urging everyone who is on the road – not just bikers – to exercise added caution and stay sober during this very busy travel period. With some of the leading causes of traffic fatalities being speeding and drunk driving, the AMA hopes its members and anyone else on the road practices smart, safe driving decisions. AMA CEO Rob Dingman points out, “When you are behind the wheel or astride your motorcycle, your focus must be on arriving safely.”
Independence Day Ranks High as Dangerous Holiday Weekend
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, (NHTSA), the US Department of Transportation, (DOT), and many other reporting agencies have all published stats regarding just which holidays are the most deadly in regards to traffic fatalities. According to DOT, an average of 122 people died in traffic crashes over the Independence Day holiday period between the years 2011 to 2015. Depending on which report you read, this makes the 4th of July at the top or very near the top of America's most tragic holidays for far too many people.
Fort Myers personal injury attorney Scot D. Goldberg is all too familiar with the devastation caused by drunk driving crashes, especially those involving motorcycles. “We represent a lot of bikers who have been victimized by some other negligent or careless driver, and the aftermath is never pleasant”, Goldberg says. “Today, things like distracted driving, excessive speed and just plain bad driving cause far too many crashes here in Southwest Florida, and around the country. It's good to see an organization like the AMA urge their members and everyone else to stay sober and use their heads while on the road.”
Here are a few good reminders to hopefully help you make it through the long holiday weekend, and even save a life over the 4th of July:
Don't Lock Into a Tight Time Schedule – Try to be flexible if you're planning on travelling, allowing extra time on the road. The less rushed you feel, the safer you'll drive.
Use Basic Safety Measures – Wear your seatbelt, stay sober and pay attention to your diving and the speed limit.
Plan Your Route – Don't be distracted while you're trying to find where you're going. Learn your route and get detailed directions if you're heading somewhere you haven't been before.
Don't Tailgate – Following too closely to the vehicle in front of you, whether it's a car or bike, is one of the most common causes of traffic crashes.
Rest Up Before You Head Out – Drowsy driving is also a very common cause of traffic fatalities and crashes that result in very serious injuries. Be sure to get plenty of rest prior to getting on your bike or behind the wheel.
Bikes have the same rights on the road as do cars, and people need to use much more caution in watching out for them. Let's all do everything we can do over the 4th of July weekend to make sure everyone – especially those on two wheels – make it to their final destination safely.