Canaan, CT – As the Fourth of July approaches, many look forward to commemorating the popular summer holiday with fireworks, barbecues, and toasts to Uncle Sam. Americans should make every effort to avoid drinking and driving this Independence Day, as the holiday consistently ranks among the deadliest days on the roadways.
In 2017, there were 601 motor vehicle fatalities during the Fourth of July holiday period (defined by the United States Department of Transportation as 6 p.m. June 30 to 5:59 a.m. July 5). Many of these lethal crashes could have been prevented, with 39 percent of accidents involving alcohol-impaired motorists.
According to the American Automobile Association, a record-setting 49 million Americans plan to travel over the Fourth of July holiday. Therefore, it is more imperative than ever for motorists and pedestrians to understand the dangers of drunk driving.
Aside from creating hazards on the roads, drinking over the Fourth of July holiday presents additional risks for those who have struggled with addiction. Alcohol-fueled Independence Day celebrations are often enough to trigger explosive emotions for people in recovery, compromising their sobriety. Fortunately, newly sober individuals can still celebrate this July 4th by focusing on their progress and the freedom that recovery has granted them.
“To stay safe over the summer holidays, newly sober people should concentrate on the positive elements of recovery,” says Carolee Paruta, Regional Director of Outpatient Services at Mountainside. “Addiction is an isolating experience because it makes people dependent on substances, but recovery puts personal choice back on the table and has changed so many lives for the better.”
Nevertheless, when surrounded by others who are drinking, the fear of missing out can be overwhelming. “Newly sober people can benefit from surrounding themselves with others in recovery who support their decision to refrain from drinking or using,” says Paruta. “If they choose to attend parties where alcohol will be present, they can check in periodically with a sponsor. People in recovery should also consider fun sober activities to make the most of their time with loved ones.”