Staying Safe While Celebrating America’s Birthday
Happy Birthday, America!
Like you probably learned in school, Independence Day marks the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1774. This gave the original American colonies independence from England. 243 years later, we still celebrate this historic day with fireworks, picnics, and parades. And of course, by wearing our best red, white, and blue accessories to show our love for the United States.
However, the combination of fireworks, parties, and more people on the roads can be deadly. In fact, the Fourth of July is one of the most dangerous days of the summer, especially when it comes to drunk driving accidents.
Drunk Driving on the Fourth of July
In 2017, 237 people were killed in drunk driving accidents on the Fourth of July. Additionally, drunk driving played a role in 39% of all fatal crashes on the holiday. The Fourth of July is a particularly dangerous day for drunk driving because many people attend parties, parades, and fireworks displays, where they might have a few drinks in celebration of America—and to cope with the oppressive heat that most states are experiencing in July. Additionally, more people are on the roads, taking advantage of the time off work to visit friends or family. This means that even one driver’s reckless decision to drink and drive can have a fatal impact on Americans who are just out to enjoy the Fourth of July.
Safety on the Roads
If you are planning to go out to celebrate the Fourth of July, keep these driving safety tips in mind:
- Plan to call an Uber or taxi to take you home from your Fourth of July celebrations
- If you do drink, be responsible
- Remember that there are other dangers, like alcohol poisoning or an increased risk of violence, that come along with excessive drinking
- Talk to teens about their Fourth of July plans and make sure they know about the dangers of underage drinking and drunk driving
- Even if you are making responsible choices, keep an eye out for people who aren’t! This means always keeping your eyes on the road.
Fireworks: Fun or Dangerous?
Along with drunk driving, fireworks can also pose a major threat on the Fourth of July. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 108 people go to the emergency room with firework-related injuries every Fourth of July. 44% of these injuries are burns, mainly affecting areas like the hands, fingers, and legs. In other cases, victims experience injuries like blindness or facial trauma, and some incidents even result in death or permanent injuries. When you consider that fireworks—even simple sparklers—can reach temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees, it’s unsurprising that they can result in serious injuries. Yet, they remain an important part of our Fourth of July celebrations.
Safety Around Fireworks
Luckily, there are a few simple tips you can follow to stay fire around fireworks this Fourth of July:
- Never allow young children to play with fireworks
- Do not handle fireworks under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- When lighting a firework, hold it at a safe distance away from your body
- Keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby in case of fires or other mishaps
- Don’t try to pick up a “dud” firework that did not ignite
To avoid injuries, consider going to a local fireworks display rather than lightning your own at home.
We hope that everyone has a safe and wonderful Fourth of July!
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.