Safety tips for your Fourth of July weekend

Safety tips for your Fourth of July weekend

In the United States, we celebrate the anniversary of our independence with cookouts and fireworks. Many pack up their cars and visit friends and family, causing increased traffic during the holiday weekend. Unfortunately, the next few days can be some of the most dangerous.

For more than 25 years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has monitored traffic accidents and determined that Fourth of July weekend is consistently the most deadly for travelers. An average of 51 percent of these fatalities are related to alcohol.

Even with the higher gas prices, the auto club AAA predicts traffic will rise an additional two percent over last year’s totals. The roads will see the highest vehicle traffic in more than seven years with 80 percent (34.8 million) traveling by automobile. From July 3 to July 6, the National Safety Council (NSC) estimates 385 traffic deaths and 41,200 injuries will occur.

Some tips to stay safe while driving and avoid tragedy this Fourth of July:

  • Put the cell phone down while driving! Remember, if you’re texting, it can wait.
  • Even if you’re not traveling far, make sure your children are in their age-appropriate safety seats.
  • If you’ve had too much to drink, don’t drive! Not only does driving while intoxicated increase your chances of injury, you’re putting everyone else on the road at risk.
  • Always stay alert and defensive to others who may have consumed too much alcohol or are distracted.

Fireworks, a staple of Independence Day celebrations, also serve as a leading reason behind holiday hospitalizations. In the month around July Fourth, an average of 200 people visit the emergency room every day with a fireworks-related injury.

More than 50 percent of the accidents result in burns, with the hands, fingers and heads being the most affected. While firecrackers, Roman candles and bottle rockets cause many injuries, sparklers are the most dangerous type.

If handled properly, fireworks can be a lot of fun. Here are some ways to enjoy responsibly:

  • Keep a hose or bucket of water nearby in case of accident and misfire.
  • Always have adults light and hold the fireworks. Attempting to let a child light one is a recipe for disaster.
  • Do not light more than one firework at a time!
  • If a firework doesn’t immediately go off, do not pick it up and try to relight.
  • Before purchasing fireworks, determine if they’re legal in your area.

From everyone at Goldberg, Persky & White, we wish you the happiest of Fourth of July weekends and ask that everyone stays safe!

 

Footnotes
Copeland, L. (2014). AAA: Fourth of July travel rises 1.9%. USA Today. [Link]
Insure.com. (2010). July 4th weekend is the deadliest time on the road. FOX Business. [Link]
USA.gov. (2012). Firework injury stats and safety tips. [Link]
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