The Fourth of July weekend is one of the busiest weekends for travel in the United States. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most dangerous weekends for travel because of the increased traffic on the roadways. According to the National Safety Council, it is anticipated there will be at least 405 deaths from 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday night because of automobile collisions.
The increased risk of collisions this weekend stems not only from the fact that there will be more drivers on the roadway, but also because there will be an increase in the number of impaired drivers on the roadway. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving accounted for 29 percent (10,511) of motor vehicle traffic deaths in 2018. In 2018 alone, 193 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the July 4 holiday period. Forty percent (78) of those fatalities occurred in drunk driving crashes. This compares to 2017 when 38 percent of the July 4 holiday period fatalities occurred in drunk driving crashes. If you are traveling via motor vehicle this upcoming holiday weekend, it’s imperative you not only use extreme caution, but also that you ensure you do not drive if intoxicated or otherwise impaired.
In addition to automobile collisions, there are also an increased amount of boating accidents that happen during the Fourth of July weekend. The U.S. Coastguard has offered tips for reducing the number of boating collisions during this weekend and has advised that all boat operators or passengers wear a life jacket in case of emergency. Also, always make sure the boat is running properly and fully equipped. Last, again, those operating boats must not do so under the influence. Similar to automobile collisions, boating collisions can be deadly and, thus, caution is urged while on the water.
Finally, the Fourth of July weekend is also known for bringing about injuries stemming from the use of fireworks. These injuries more likely than not involve fingers or other extremities. Those who plan to set off fireworks should follow all policies, procedures and rules set forth by the local government or other authorities, and further, should be aware of bystanders and others around the area.
In sum, the Fourth of July weekend can be a joyful weekend celebrating our country. However, it also brings about several risks. Be sure to enjoy in a safe manner this weekend.