You’d have to have been living in an air conditioned bomb shelter to have missed the dangerously hot weather that has been afflicting this region over the past couple of weeks.
And according to the weather forecasts, we have more of the same to come for the foreseeable future.
So it is understandable for those who are enjoying outdoor recreation to reach for a cool drink.
But safety experts are urging those who plan to drive to not take a chance by including alcoholic beverages in that reach.
According to details from AAA Kansas, this weekend is statistically one of the most deadly of the year on our highways and more than 40 percent of the deaths that will happen on our roads will be connected to drunk driving.
“Drunk drivers put everyone on the road in danger and these numbers are a frightening reminder of how easily a holiday celebration can turn to tragedy. Drive safe and sober this Fourth of July weekend to help ensure the only red, white and blue lights filling the sky are from fireworks, not emergency vehicles.” Jim Hanni, AAA Kansas said in a press release this week. “For the safety of all road users, think first before you drink. Be sure you have a safe way home before you take that first drink,” he added.
The travel association notes that these traffic fatalities are certainly avoidable. “Every alcohol-related fatality is preventable and social disapproval of drunk driving is almost universal. However, one in 10 drivers reported having driven when they thought their BAC ‘might have been close to or possibly over the legal limit’ in the past year and just over half of those drivers (5.5 percent of all drivers) reported having done so more than once during that time, according to a national survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in 2010. With an average of one drunk driving death occurring every 45 minutes, there has never been a more critical time to address this issue.”
Monday will, according to national statistics, be the most deadly day of the year, the organization added. “According to the AAAFTS’ recent analysis of national crash data, between 2000-2009, more people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes on July 4 than on any other day of the year.
“In fact, the data also indicates that Independence Day is the second deadliest day for drunk driving deaths, just behind New Year’s Day. Between 2000 and 2009, an average of 40 percent of traffic fatalities on July 4 involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit (.08 or higher), according to the AAAFTS’ analysis of fatal crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.”