OUR OPINION: FOURTH OF JULY | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

OUR OPINION: FOURTH OF JULY

Drive smart, drive sober on the Fourth

Posted: June 30, 2011 - 7:58pm

The Fourth of July is one of Americans’ favorite holidays — a noisy, raucous celebration of our independence — but it also can be one of the most dangerous.

Summer travel on our nation’s roads is vastly popular at this time of year and the clear roads probably tempt all of us to drive a little faster than we should. People often equate the winter months with dangerous driving conditions but statistics bear out that it’s the summer months in which we drive faster and there’s no truer maxim in public safety than the admonition that speed kills.

Another killer is the deadly combination of driving and alcohol.  The National Highway Safety Traffic Safety Administration reported that in the past 25  years half of all deadly traffic crashes during each year’s Fourth of July holiday involved some level of alcohol. The administration said 410 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes national during the Fourth of July weekend in 2010. Of that number 40 percent involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.

Fortunately, the expected state shutdown of government services will not prevent law enforcement officers from aggressively enforcing drunken driving violations. Be assured they’ll be out in full force.

Play it smart this Fourth of July weekend. Drive sober and stay alive.