We Americans love to celebrate July 4th. So many fond memories of spending time with family and friends, picnicking or BBQ-ing in the yard, or perhaps escaping the heat by spending time on the water. But the combination of traveling to see fireworks and the late hour after a long day in the sun makes for dangerous roads. This holiday is one of the deadliest of the year for motor vehicle accidents due to drinking and driving.

Recent statistics are sobering

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the number of fatalities over the holiday continue to be stubbornly high and rising. Recent statistics from the July 4, 2016 holiday of 6 p.m. July 2 to 6 a.m. July 6 bear this out:

  • There were 188 deaths in crashes where at least one driver was over the legal limit of .08 blood alcohol level or higher. This is a 28 percent increase over the previous year of 146 fatalities.
  • Almost half of those drivers tested were over .15 percent, which is about twice the legal limit.

What about the victims?

There is rightfully a large emphasis on drivers remaining sober if they choose to operate their motor vehicle during the holiday. But the tragic consequences of their actions can leave victims and their families dealing with the repercussions for years to come, particularly in situations where there is the loss of one or more family members.

While those statistics aren’t listed, the death in a motor vehicle accident often leaves others involved severely injured as well, often with life changing injuries to the head or spinal cord. It it smart to protect your rights in these matters with help from an attorney with personal injury experience.