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Holiday drunk driving dangers

As West Virginia residents settle into summer and enjoy the long days of warm weather, they also look forward to the fun summer holidays yet to come. With the Fourth of July just around the corner, it is likely that many people are eagerly finalizing their holiday plans. Often, these plans include road trips even if just for the day. Sadly, many of these trips end tragically.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Fourth of July is all too frequently a deadly time on U.S. roads. In 2013, 199 lives were lost over the days that comprised the primary Fourth of July holiday weekend. The following year saw a slight decline in the number of drunk driving fatalities with 164 such deaths recorded. This is according to Traffic Safety Marketing, a publication of the NHTSA.

The 164 lives lost represent more than 40 percent of all vehicular deaths that occured over the 2014 Fourth of July holiday. This holiday period lasted a total of 84 hours between July 3 and July 7, 2014. These statistics include deaths of drivers and passengers in or on cars, trucks, motorcycles and more.

Staying safe on the roads, especially on a holiday weekend in which there can be an increase in the number of people who drink and drive, is a tricky thing. Continued public awareness about the danger of impaired driving is clearly still needed as the nation has yet to achieve an elimination of these unnecessary accidents. Whether travelling hundreds of miles or just a few miles, motorists and their passengers should always remain aware at these times.

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