The National Safety Council (NSC) is predicting that 565 people may be killed on the road during the upcoming Fourth of July holiday period, and an additional 64,500 may be seriously injured in crashes.

To help drive down these figures, NSC is urging motorists to be particularly vigilant about impaired drivers, and to designate sober drivers themselves. Analysis of the latest available data shows during the 2017 Independence Day period, 39 percent of fatalities involved an alcohol-impaired driver, the highest percentage among all the major holidays.

The four-day holiday period this year will begin at 6 p.m. ET Wednesday, July 3, and will end at 11:59 p.m. ET Sunday, July 7.

“As we celebrate one of our country’s most cherished holidays, we have to keep safety in mind,” said Lorraine M. Martin, President and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Sober and attentive driving could be the difference between watching fireworks and watching ambulance lights.”

NSC’s tips to ensure a safer holiday weekend include:

  • Drive defensively. Buckle up, designate a sober driver or arrange alternative transportation, get plenty of sleep to avoid fatigue, and drive attentively, avoiding distractions.
  • Recognize the dangers of drugged driving, including impairment from opioids. Visit
  • Stay engaged in teens’ driving habits.
  • Look before you lock a vehicle to ensure no child is left in the back seat. At least 11 kids have died in hot cars this year. Visit to take a free, 15-minute training on preventing pediatric vehicular heatstroke.
  • Learn about your vehicle’s safety systems and how to use them. Visit for information.
  • Fix recalls immediately. Before you hit the road, visit to ensure your vehicle does not have an open recall.

Additional information about the NSC motor vehicle fatality estimates for the July 4 holiday period can be found here.