The Fourth of July fell on a Thursday this year. That fact allowed many people to take an extended weekend. The Missouri Highway Patrol often considers the timing of a holiday when considering what may constitute a holiday period for the purposes of highway safety.

This year, state officials say that the holiday period ran from Wednesday evening through midnight Sunday. The highway patrol says that 17 people were killed and 157 suffered injuries in 358 motor vehicle accidents over the Fourth of July holiday. In addition to the car accident statistics, troopers made 199 drunk driving arrests.

Columbia Police investigated a fatal accident that was reported at the intersection of West Broadway Street and Westwood Avenue. The crash involved a motorcycle wreck. Police say that a 29-year-old man from Illinois was ejected from his bike after losing control of the bike and hitting a utility pole near the intersection.

Whenever we have a major holiday, reports from state officials before and after the event often involve highway safety issues. It is true that motor vehicle wrecks seem to increase during holiday periods, and safety officials are likely to be able to raise the issue of traffic safety surrounding a holiday.

While holiday traffic statistics help to highlight the importance of road safety, it is always important for drivers to observe the rules of the road, and to keep safety at the forefront. Columbia personal injury lawyers know that when a car accident involves an injury or death, the matter is individual for the victims and families of victims of an accident. The injuries, medical issues and losses are not merely statistics, but real-life issues for each individual family.

Source: Riverfront Times, “4th of July in Missouri: 17 Killed in Traffic Crashes, 199 Drunk Driving Arrests, Patrol Says,” Sam Levin, July 9, 2013