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UA Traffic safety study shows dangers surrounding Fourth of July driving

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 9:41 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Researchers from the University of Alabama have noticed alarming trends after reviewing crash data from several years around the Fourth of July holiday.

“This year could be particularly bad because 4th of July is on a Sunday and the holiday is on a Monday,” said Dr. David Brown, a researcher with the Center for Advanced Public Safety at the University of Alabama.

Brown is worried what this Fourth of July holiday weekend could mean for some people. He said data indicated 4th of July crashes in Alabama are usually more severe and deadlier than the crashes before or after the holiday.

Speed played a factor in the wrecks, as did drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“That tends to be a big problem around any holiday because of the free time that people have. They don’t have to go to work tomorrow and they tend to overindulge,” Brown continued.

Brown and others looked at crash data for the past five years in Alabama. Crashes between 9 at night and 7 in the morning happened more often around the holiday. Crashes with drugs and alcohol were more likely during those times as well.

“The big problem is at night , when the drugs and alcohol are used. They tend to be more used at night, especially early morning hours. which were not a problem on other weeks,” he added. Brown suggested making sure you seatbelt is buckled up. Not wearing a seatbelt increases the chances you could be killed in an accident by 25 per cent.

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