Fourth of July holiday weekends claim an average of 500 to 700 lives in traffic fatalities and almost half are alcohol related, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
2006 was the deadliest this decade with 659 fatalities, compared to the 200 that were recorded in 2007 when Fourth of July fell on a Wednesday.
The Illinois Department of Transportation is urging motorists to buckle up, stay sober, comply with posted speed limits and use extra caution in construction zones.
“While we want everyone to enjoy their holiday weekend, we must put safety first and remind motorists to not drink and drive and to be conscious of work zones,” said IDOT Secretary Gary Hannig. “We will limit lane closures where possible to provide some relief to those travelling over the holiday weekend, but some areas will still have workers present, so please obey the posted speed limits and drive cautiously.”
Illinois State Police will be conducting a DUI crackdown.
“The sad reality is that numerous lives are impacted every day in Illinois because of an impaired driver,” Illinois State Police Director Jonathon Monken said. “Even with the raised awareness about the consequences of drinking and driving, there are still those who choose to drive while impaired. That’s why the ISP will increase our enforcement efforts by working closely with our local partners during the July 4th holiday.”
The You Drink & Drive. You Lose crackdown began June 19 and runs through July 5. It is being supported by nearly $1 million in federal safety funds being made available by IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety.
For more information about the impaired driving in Illinois, please visit www.drivesoberillinois.org.IDOT will suspend construction-related lane closures starting at 3 p.m. Thursday, July 2 to midnight, Sunday, July 5.
Wherever a road is closed, a detour will be posted. In some areas, there will be lane restrictions.
Due to the nature of some projects, there will be a number of work zones that will continue to have lane closures. Motorists are advised to slow down and be alert in those work zones, and are reminded that work zone speed limits are still in effect.
For more information about ongoing construction projects, motorists can check IDOT’s traveler Web site http://www.gettingaroundillinois.com. Interstate road information is also available at 1-800-452 IDOT (4368).
The NHTSA tracks traffic fatalities for New Year’s, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
In the unfortunate event that you or someone you love is involved in a serious accident this holiday weekend, the Chicago car accident lawyers and personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Abels & Annes offer free appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.