Independence Day is one of the most celebrated holidays in the country. From BBQ chicken and hot dogs to beer and lemonade, friends and families gather all over to share in festivities, fun, and fireworks. However, July 4th also comes with its share of risks. So, it’s essential to be informed about these risks and try to avoid an auto accident yourself or with loved ones.
- 601 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. 39% (237) of those fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired crashes. This is a 23% increase from 2016, during which 192 people were killed during the same holiday period.
- 60% of those who died in alcohol-impaired crashes were in an accident involving at least one driver or motorcyclist with a BAC of .15 or higher.
It is crucial for individuals to be cautious—particularly when imbibing—this July 4th. Be prepared to avoid an auto accident this year with these tips.
Prepare Ahead of Time
It is estimated that there will be nearly 47 million Americans traveling 50 miles or more from their homes for the 4th of July. This means there will be an increase in road traffic and, thus, an increase in the risk of an auto accident.
To avoid this, plan your festivities by stocking up on everything you need before the holiday arrives. Equip yourself with things like:
- Disposable/Reusable plates, bowls, cups, and utensils
- Cooking implements
This year, since the holiday falls on a Thursday, many party-goers will be celebrating for a long weekend. If you are among them, be prepared with plenty of supplies to last you through the weekend so you won’t have to venture out.
It’s always better to have everything you need beforehand, so you (and your guests) don’t have to risk driving out into the elevated levels of traffic.
Have Space Available
Whether you are hosting a party at your home or visiting someone else’s house, it can save someone’s life (or yours) if you or your guests have a place to sleep after having too much to drink.
You might be surprised to learn that a 160-pound man who consumes two alcoholic drinks will experience some loss in coordination and reaction times. This means that even just a few drinks throughout the day can impair driving abilities.
Being prepared with an extra bed or couch for someone to rest or spend the night can prevent tragedy from occurring. If you’re visiting someone else, ask to spend the night if you’ve had too many drinks.
Limit Alcohol Intake
When celebrating the nation’s birthday, it can be tempting to overindulge in alcohol. Many people who have a couple of drinks inevitably want more. This is especially true when we are celebrating!
It can be beneficial to either not consume alcohol or to alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
Provide Non-Alcoholic Alternatives
Whether you want to be creative with festive, 4th-of-July-themed juices or offer non-alcoholic beer, one sure way to prevent inebriation is to avoid alcohol altogether.
Use A Taxi Service
Although being on the road on the 4th of July is riskier than any other time of year, sometimes it becomes necessary. Consider hailing a taxi or using a service such as Uber or Lyft.
Assign Designated Drivers
If you have guests who are partaking in alcohol consumption, determine who can be a designated driver to ensure their safe arrival home. You can also have designated drivers run errands for you if you or someone attending needs something from the store.
Be Sure To Eat
While there are sure to be plenty of drinks available to consume, it’s essential to eat as well. Drinking on an empty stomach will increase the rate at which you become intoxicated. This is because the alcohol goes straight through your stomach to the intestines where it is immediately absorbed into the bloodstream.
Encourage guests to eat as well either by serving plates of food or providing occasional snacks throughout the day.
The best way to stay safe from motor vehicle accidents this Independence Day is to avoid being on the road altogether. But if you absolutely must drive during the holiday, use these safety tips to improve your chances for a safe trip.
It is estimated that seatbelts saved almost 15,000 lives in 2017 and of the more than 37,000 people killed in fatal car accidents that year, 47 percent were not wearing their seatbelts. Since it’s the law in most states, anyway, buckling up has multiple benefits. Be sure you and anyone else in your vehicle are wearing theirs.
Since the roads will be busier, allow yourself ample time to reach your destination so you won’t feel rushed or pressured.
Turn Off Distractions
According to NHTSA, more than 3,000 people died as a result of distracted driving, and cell phones were the number one culprit. Turn off cell phones or leave them at home when driving to avoid the risks associated with distracted driving.
Be Extra Cautious on Rural Roads
Rural roads are considered to be more dangerous because of many factors. Without as much lighting, higher risks of animals in the streets, no street markings, and narrower lanes, these roads should be approached with particular caution.
Although the 4th of July is considered the deadliest holiday, following these tips can help keep you and your loved ones safe.
In the event tragedy strikes, and you or a loved one are involved in an auto accident, we invite you to contact us today to determine what —if anything—can be done to get you compensation for your pain. We will discuss your case with you and help you navigate through the process of recovering your losses and getting back to your life.