Millions of Americans have been looking forward to this 4th of July week all year for the celebratory fireworks, lakeside fun, boating, and barbeques. Unfortunately, this summer holiday is also the most dangerous holiday when it comes to safety.
A study conducted by the National Safety Council concluded that the deadliest month in the US was July and that the most dangerous holiday was the 4th of July. While it hard to name the exact reason, the study stated that the additional traveling, excessive alcohol, and unsafe fireworks made up most of the injuries and deaths. While the National Safety Council no longer makes projections, in 2014 they projected there would be 540 traffic deaths and 57,800 injuries that require medical attention over the holiday weekend.
Typically, the 4th of July holiday weekend becomes even more dangerous when it falls on a weekend. This year, the holiday is during the middle of the week on a Wednesday. This might help reduce the congestion on the roads since not everyone will be taking off the same days. One thing is for certain though; people will always partake in alcohol consumption and lighting off fireworks!
Tips for Safe Driving on 4th of July Weekend
A different study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety studied over 5 years’ worth of data during the mid-2000’s and found that more people died on July 4th than any other date of the year. Over that period when the study was conducted, approximately 148 people died in auto accidents alone each July 4th which is about 30% higher than a normal day.
So, what makes July 4th so deadly? The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety listed a few factors which include increased drivers and vehicles on the road, greater average travel distances, and excessive alcohol consumption. The IIHS also found that alcohol played a role in approximately 40% of all holiday car accidents and this is over 10% than a normal day.
The National Safety Council has created a list of safety tips to help reduce the chances of being involved in an auto accident over this holiday week or weekend. Here a few of the tips:
- Don’t use your cell phone while driving in any fashion (Just put your cellphone in the glovebox)
- Pull over or use a rest area if you need to make a phone call or text message
- Wear your safety belt! Also make your passengers wear a safety belt (You should always do this)
- Make children sit in the back of the vehicle and ensure the proper child seat is being used
- Don’t leave a child or pet in an unattended vehicle, especially this week given the hot weather
- Have a designated driver if you insist on drinking
Fireworks Dangers and Safety Tips
Dangerous driving conditions and increased auto accidents aren’t the only hazard during this holiday week and weekend. During every 4th of July holiday weekend, people die from fireworks accidents and hundreds or thousands more are injured. You might think fireworks are safe since you’ve never had a bad experience, but rest assured many accidents happen every year.
Just a few years ago, 2 NFL football players both lost their fingers and suffered dangerous burns during a firework accident on the 4th of July. According to data from the United States Consumer Product Safety commission, over 225+ people are hurt every year from fireworks related accidents. Sometimes, these accidents can result in fatalities. In 2014 alone, 9 people died from fireworks related accidents.
According to the National Safety Council, your best bet as far as safety is to watch a public display of fireworks that is run and conducted by experienced professionals. Many accidents occur when non-professionals setup and light off fireworks. Large fireworks are now legal in Michigan and the National Safety Council suggests the following to minimize your chances of injury or death:
- Never allow children to handle or light fireworks. Older children can be involved if there is direct adult supervision.
- Always light just 1 firework at a time and make sure the location is clear from any hazards or people.
- Never aim fireworks at people or play yourself or body parts over a firework.
- Always keep a source of water nearby in case you need to extinguish fireworks that don’t go off. Never try to re-light
Contact The Clark Law Office If You’ve Been Injured
Even if you follow every logical safety precaution, you can be injured if someone else acts negligently or recklessly. If you or a loved one suffers an injury because of the negligence of another persona, contact our injury attorneys at The Clark Law Office. You might be entitled to financial compensation for your medical expenses and/or pain and suffering and our attorney have the legal knowledge and experience that you need. We charge nothing unless you win your case and the initial consultation is totally free. Call us today at (517) 242-5882 or fill out our confidential online form to receive a free case evaluation.