For most Americans, the 4th of July means a day off from work filled with cookouts, the pool or lake, family, friends and fireworks. Unfortunately, it also means the day with the highest number of fatal roadway accidents. Yes, the 4th of July is deadlier than New Year’s Day or any other holiday. If you plan to be on the roadways this 4th of July, please follow these five important safety tips:
- Do not drink and drive. More than half of all fatal accidents on the 4th of July are related to alcohol, so plan ahead. Use a ride-sharing service such as Lyft or Uber or designate a driver beforehand. Or, plan on being a house guest at your friend or family’s BBQ. You can help make the pancakes and scrambled eggs in the morning.
- Buckle up everyone in the family. Everyone should buckle up regardless of where they are seated in the vehicle. Unrestrained backseat passengers can injure not only themselves but others as they become a loose projectile in the vehicle during a crash. Children should be in appropriate car or booster seats and even the family dog should be restrained with an appropriate dog harness. For more on why Fido should be buckled in also, click here. If 90% of the United States population wore their seatbelts, more than 4,200 lives could be saved each and every year.
- Make sure your vehicle is in good repair. Do you tires have enough tread? Are the brakes on your vehicle working well? Are you windshield wipers in good condition? Up-to-date maintenance is about safety just as much as it is about not being stranded on a lonely highway after dark. Nobody likes spending money on tires and windshield wipers but it is better than spending it on medical bills.
- Do not drive distracted. Use the Do Not Disturb feature on your phone. Ask a passenger to help you use that navigational app. Eat your hamburger before you leave the party. Just make sure and give driving your full time and attention. Over 3,100 people die each year as a direct result of distracted driving, and experts believe that number is actually much higher.
- Slow down. Speeding puts you and everyone else on the road at risk. Over 1/3 of all crashes are related to speeding, and more than 26% of fatal traffic accidents are directly related to speeding. In fact, speeding kills over 9,000 people each and every year. Again, this number is likely much higher according to experts. Leave yourself enough time to get to your destination so that you will not be tempted to speed. Remember, you are not Richard Petty and I-65 is not the Daytona 500.
We hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July holiday. Enjoy the day off work, the BBQs, the fireworks and the rest of the festivities. Just do it safely so you and everyone else can do it all again next year. And, if you need us, give us a call. We will be here. We handle all accident cases on a contingency basis so we only get paid if we recover money for you.