Celebrating the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is associated with fireworks, grilling, and parades. These are all tremendously enjoyable ways to spend the holiday with your family and friends. However, Independence Day can also be dangerous. Accidents and injuries involving cars, boats, and fireworks occur at alarmingly high rates during the holiday. Here are some tips to help you to enjoy a safe Fourth of July celebration.

Automobile Safety

According to the United States Department of Transportation, from 2008 to 2012, 765 people died as a result of car accidents involving drunk drivers during the Fourth of July period. In 2012, almost half of all deadly car crashes during the Fourth of July weekend involved a drunk driver. However, there are ways to ensure a safe holiday celebration. You should make your plans before Independence Day, so you know how you’re getting home. For instance, you could plan on using public transportation, calling a taxi, or asking someone to be a designated driver. Also, you should call the police if you see someone who appears to be driving a car while impaired. Finally, if someone at your party or barbecue seems to have had too much to drink, make sure that you find that person a way to get home so they don’t drive.

Boat Safety

Typically, more than one third of all boating related accidents and deaths occur on Independence Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day, according to the American Boating Association. Despite these statistics, there are ways to ensure a safe boating experience this Independence Day. Everyone on the boat should be wearing a life jacket. Eighty percent of people who died in boating accidents were not wearing life jackets. Additionally, the owner of the boat should make sure that all of the boat’s equipment is working properly. Finally, you should tell a friend who will not be joining you on the boat about your trip. Your friend can contact the authorities if you have not returned home in a reasonable amount of time.

Firework Safety

According to a report quoted by CBS News, last year, eight people died and an estimated 11,400 people suffered firework related injuries. That means that almost 3,000 more firework related injuries occurred in 2014 than 2012. Sparklers and bottle rockets together were responsible for forty percent of firework injuries. The Red Cross suggests that the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show. However, if you are setting off fireworks at home, you should keep water in close proximity. Additionally, you should store your fireworks in a cool, dry place. You should only light off one firework at a time. Finally, do not try to relight a firework.

If you or a family or friend were involved in an accident, please call our office for a free consultation so we can discuss your rights and how best to handle your injury claim. There is no charge for speaking with one of our experienced attorneys so call us at 312.422.0500.