The Fourth of July weekend is always a relatively dangerous one for drivers, but this year's may be particularly bad. The National Safety Council predicts 409 deaths and 49,500 injuries on the roads between 6pm tomorrow and 11:59 pm Sunday, the highest projected numbers for the holiday weekend since 2008. One reason is that traffic has generally been increasing in recent years as the US emerges from the recession. But also, the Fourth falls on a Saturday, and weekend holidays tend to result in more cars on the road and more drinking, reports NBC News.
Indeed, 41% of vehicular deaths on the Fourth involve blood-alcohol concentrations over the legal limit, per an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report cited previously by the LA Times. The NSC offers the usual list of safety tips on everything from seat belts to cell phones and adds that parents should avoid the temptation to loosen up too much in regard to their teens' driving habits. "Drivers always need to be vigilant, but this weekend, focus on the safety of your family," says the agency's chief in a statement. (Heavy traffic isn't the only risk to Americans this weekend.)