Drunk driving an increased risk with upcoming holiday

Summer is coming to an end as Labor Day weekend fast approaches. With the increased number of activities to enjoy over the holiday weekend comes the added risk of impaired driving and dangerous Illinois roadways.

More than 10,000 people die every year in the United States because drivers choose to get behind the wheel drunk. July, August and September tend to bring the drunk driving deaths each year, in part because of holidays like the Fourth of July and Labor Day.

With one in three car accident deaths cause by drunk driving, drivers, passengers and pedestrians should watch for potentially dangerous behavior over the holiday weekend. Enjoy the barbecues, parties with friends and outdoor activities, but don’t let a fun weekend come to a disastrous end with the mistake of driving drunk.

Illinois prioritizing roadway safety

Gov. Bruce Rauner declared August 17 Traffic Fatality Awareness Day in Illinois as part of a state-wide effort to focus on roadway safety. More than 1,000 deaths occurred on the roads in Illinois last year and the state Department of Transportation set the lofty – yet potentially attainable – goal of eliminating as many of those incidents as possible.

Not every car accident is avoidable; inclement weather and other poor roadway conditions may be inevitable, but distracted and impaired driving is entirely solvable. As a driver over the holiday weekend, plan a safe, sober way home. For passengers, hold your friends and loved ones accountable and try to dissuade an impaired person from getting behind the wheel.

No one should have to worry about encountering a drunk driver on the road. Labor Day weekend should mark the end of a fun, enjoyable summertime, not bring a horrific end to people just trying to get home from festivities. Prepare for increased presence impaired drivers and law enforcement trying to stop this harmful behavior during the coming holiday weekend.