Independence Day is always an exciting holiday to celebrate. Renewed feelings of patriotism and freedom, combined with a country-wide party, certainly make for an invigorating time. This holiday, however, also comes with a tremendous potential for personal injuries. Because of these injury trends in the past, we have compiled a list of the most common 4th of July accidents, and how you can prevent being injured while you celebrate.
While it is not news to draw the conclusion that holidays are often paired with drunk driving, it may be a surprising fact that the 4th of July is one of the most dangerous driving days of the year. On average, approximately 400 deaths and 50,000 injuries are due to Independence Day accidents yearly (according to the NSC). There are many contributing factors to this, including the influx of additional cars on the roads traveling for the holiday, more drunk drivers, and more distracted driving related incidents as well.
While you cannot control what every other driver is doing on the road, you can ensure that while you are behind the wheel, you pay attention to the road, maintain sobriety, and slow down, allowing yourself more time to react to potential hazards. If you plan on celebrating with drinks, designate a sober driver, or arrange for another means to get home.
The most common insurance claim that is filed on Independence Day is for cooking fires. It may be a surprising statistic at first, but when you take into account how many 4th of July barbecues and cookouts occur, it starts to make sense. If you plan on having a BBQ or if you just want to grill up a few good ole American hotdogs, be sure to take safety precautions. Double check temperatures of the grill you are using, and never leave it or an open fire unattended. Have water or an extinguisher nearby in case flames get unruly. When finished, ensure that the fire is completely out or the propane/fuel is shut completely off. These simple steps can help prevent you becoming a part of the insurance claim statistic.
We all love a good day at the lake, especially when it involves racing across the water, and relaxing on a boat with your best friends. With this increase of boating on this holiday, however, there is also an increase of boating related accidents. Across the country, approximately 8,000 boating accidents occur on the 4th of July. These accidents are often caused by similar factors as car collisions, including distracted operation of the vehicle, speeding, not following rules of navigation, and intoxication at the wheel.
Again, similarly to car accidents, you cannot control everyone who is operating a boat on the water. However, you can take precautions to ensure that even if an accident occurs, you and everyone on board will remain safe. Have floatation devices either on at all times, or easily accessible in case of emergency. Make sure that you and other passengers are paying attention, and that there is a safety plan in place should something happen.
This injury is often the first one that comes to mind when you think of Independence Day. While fireworks are mesmerizing and exhilarating, they can also be quite dangerous. It is often best to leave fireworks to the professionals, however, if you choose to set them off yourselves, always do so with caution. Ensure that you know how each kind is meant to be set off, always utilize them in open non-residential areas, and do not let your guard down with smaller fireworks or sparklers, as these still have the potential to cause serious burns. Eye injuries and hearing loss are also common injuries that occur with improper firework safety. These injuries can be serious and devastating and may even have lifelong effects.
However you choose to celebrate the 4th of July, always be sure to practice caution for your safety and the safety of others. Should you be injured due to someone else’s negligence on this holiday, contact our experienced team of injury attorneys immediately.