The Fourth of July weekend may be over, but that doesn’t mean it’s time for everyone to let their guard down, according to the National Safety Council, which said July is typically the deadliest month of the year.
The fatality increase in July is largely driven by upticks in fatal car crashes, drownings and extreme temperatures, NSC said.
"Sun, sand and vacation selfies mark July as the peak of summer," said Deborah A.P. Hersman, the council's president and CEO. "Making safe choices can ensure July is the best month of the year, not the most deadly."
The council offers these tips to stay safe this month. You may want to pass the advice along to fleet drivers as a friendly reminder.
- Avoid speeding, using cell phones and driving under the influence. In 2011, 3,417 people were killed in car crashes in July. Crashes involving speeding and alcohol are highest in the summer, and cell phone use increases crash risk fourfold -- even when using a hands-free device.
- Place children in age-appropriate car seats. If you are flying, buy a ticket for children ages 2 and younger and place them in an FAA-approved child seat. Do not hold young children on your lap during a flight.
- Learn about your vehicle’s safety systems and how to use them. MyCarDoesWhat can help drivers understand features such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning systems and backup cameras.
- Do not operate a boat while drinking or without a boater’s license.
- Make sure children use floatation devices and everyone in your group knows how to swim. In 2011, 759 individuals drowned in July.
- Stay hydrated and avoid being outside for long periods of time in the extreme heat. In 2011, 270 people were killed in July because of extreme temperatures.
- In 2013, 44 kids died from heatstroke because they were left in hot cars. Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle.