W.Va. State Police to increase patrols on roads for Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is seen as one of the most dangerous holidays to be a driver.
The Fourth of July is seen as one of the most dangerous holidays to be a driver.
Published: Jun. 27, 2023 at 6:27 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Fourth of July is the most dangerous holiday to be out on the roads in the United States.

Because of this, the West Virginia State Police will be increasing its presence for the Fourth of July. First Sergeant Okey Starsick said a lot of this is due to the increase in drunk driving wrecks and traffic flow for the day and weekend.

Starsick said drivers need to be more mindful and safer with whatever they are operating. Whether it is a car, truck or even an all-terrain vehicle.

“Most of the time there is an increase with either traffic accidents simply from the influx traffic. And people usually going to a camp or rural areas. UTV and ATV safety in mind is what we’d like to see with the folks. Because a good time could turn bad quickly,” Starsick said.

Starsick said those who are planning on going out need a backup plan. And even another plan if something changes.

“If the people could have a gameplan. Just in case if it means calling Uber or a relative or a friend just in case. A lot of times – like we all know – the festivities can get out of hand. And sometimes things are forgotten. And if there’s an alternate besides that designated driver who may end up partying too much or not being able to be that designated driver if they have that alternate plan to fall back on,” Starsick said. “Or just throw up a tent and a sleeping bag where they’re at and stay where they’re at. That would suffice.”

According to a report by Accident Doctor, during the years of 2012 through 2021, Independence Day had the highest death rate statistics with 2,743 deaths.

And the second-highest day is on July 3rd with an annual death rate of 2,534.