Illinois State Police District 11 Commander Capt. Joe Kollins reminds motorists to drive sober or designate a driver while celebrating over the Fourth of July.
Drunken driving remains the No. 1 cause of fatal crashes during Independence Day celebrations. Troopers will be doing their part to keep roads safe by watching for and arresting intoxicated drivers.
The ISP encourages those at celebrations involving alcohol to avoid drunken driving altogether. The following tips can help prevent drunken driving crashes and arrests:
Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
Designate a sober driver before the drinking begins.
If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely.
If you see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to call 911.
If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take his or her keys and help the individual make other arrangements to safely get to where they are going.
“The Illinois State Police are committed to providing a safe environment for both our citizens of the Metro East, and visitors traveling to our area throughout the holiday weekend,” Kollins said. “While troopers in District 11 will be on constant patrol throughout the holiday, the public shares an equally important role in keeping our roadways safe by making responsible decisions and always designating a sober driver.”
The National Safety Council estimates that there will be 409 traffic deaths over the three-day holiday weekend. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 2009-2013 alcohol-related traffic crashes during the July 4 holiday accounted for approximately 39 percent of traffic-related deaths.
Drunken driving is just one of the “fatal four” violations. Speeding, driving distracted, and not wearing a seat belt also are contributing factors to traffic crash-related fatalities.
Speeding increases chances of losing control of a vehicle and reduces reaction time. Drive the speed limit and pass only when it’s safe to do so.
Keep your eyes on the road and off the cellphone. State law prohibits the use of electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle. Hands-free or Bluetooth technology is allowed for people older than 18.
Buckle up. It’s the law and it may save your life if you’re in a crash. Statistics show 43 percent of crash victims found not wearing their seat belts resulted in serious injury or death.