Missouri Department of Transportation: Don’t Let Bad Decisions Define You

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The Fourth of July can be one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to crashes caused by substance-impaired drivers, excessive speeds and distracted drivers, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Alcohol, illegal drugs and even over-the-counter drugs can cause impairment.

To help deter dangerous driving behaviors, the Missouri Department of Transportation said local law enforcement will be out in full force July 1-5 with increased efforts to stop impaired drivers.

According to the department, there will be no warnings and no excuses. Those who drive impaired will be arrested, and individuals who choose to drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs will also risk losing their independence. 

Often, people have a hard time recuperating financially from the cost of an impaired-driving arrest or the crash itself. Violators risk killing or harming others, face jail time, the loss of their driver licenses, higher insurance rates and dozens of other unanticipated expenses from attorney fees, fines and court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost time at work.

In 2020, there were 14 people killed and 55 people seriously injured in Missouri traffic crashes over the July Fourth holiday. Of the 69 people killed or injured, seven were involved in a crash where there was at least one substance-impaired driver, 26 where there was a speeding driver and two were involved in a crash where there was a distracted driver.

The Fourth of July falls within the "100 Deadliest Days of Summer,” which spans the summer travel season between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

“This is historically a deadly time on our nation's roadways,” Missouri Department of Transportation's state highway safety and traffic engineer Nicole Hood said. “Preliminary reports show that during last year's ‘100 Deadliest Days of Summer’ there were 368 fatalities and 1,722 serious injuries on Missouri roadways. We are hopeful for better results during 2021 as we strive for the ultimate goal of zero fatalities on our roadways.”

The Missouri Department of Transportation continues to work toward a goal of zero roadway fatalities and urges all who travel in and around the Show-Me State this summer to buckle up, put the cellphone down, slow down and never drive while impaired.

Whether driving through a work zone, sharing the road with motorcyclists or cruising around city streets with pedestrians in the area, slowing down and paying attention can help save lives.

For more information on Missouri’s new strategic highway safety plan, Show-Me Zero, and how everyone can participate, visit www.savemolives.com.