PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association urges all road users to stay sober and exercise extreme caution over the Independence Day holiday and the preceding weekend.
Statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation show that an average of 122 people died in traffic crashes on July 4 each year from 2011 to 2015, making it the deadliest day of the year for road users.
Alcohol consumption and excessive speed were among the leading factors in those deadly crashes.
"Many people will be extending their weekend through the July 4 holiday on Tuesday this year," said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. "While we take this time to revel in the freedoms we enjoy as Americans, it is vital to remember that the celebrations start after you arrive at your destination. When you are behind the wheel or astride your motorcycle, your focus must be on arriving safely."
Holiday weekends always mean more traffic on the roads. In addition to the celebration of our nation's founding, the holiday weekend offers the chance for picnics, motorcycling and backyard cookouts. Communities across the country will stage festivals with live music, food, drink and fireworks displays.
People traveling to and from their celebrations should exercise extra caution on the roads. Impaired and distracted driving become more prevalent during holiday travel times, increasing the risk to all motorists. But motorcyclists are always more vulnerable than other drivers.
"Remain alert, drive sober and watch for motorcyclists," Dingman said. "Motorists and motorcyclists, alike, should leave extra space between their vehicles and those nearby, take an extra look before changing lanes or making a left turn and reduce your speed for extra safety. We want everyone to enjoy the holiday and to arrive safely at their destinations."