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Holiday Safety Tips: Staying Safe on Fourth of July

The McClellan Law Firm

The McClellan Law Firm hopes that everyone has a safe and fun holiday weekend! During this time of year, many of us choose to celebrate the Fourth of July with a vacation, celebration, or backyard party. While having fun is a tradition on the Fourth, this time of year also presents a number of dangers. In fact, the Fourth of July statistically sees a spike in accidents, injuries, and even deaths.

As a firm that fights for victims and families harmed in preventable accidents, we want to remind everyone how important it is to make safety a priority this coming weekend. To help keep you and your loved ones safe from some of the more common accidents and injuries that take place during this time of year, we have also put together some helpful safety tips.

  • Auto Accidents
    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Fourth of July is one of the most dangerous times of year on U.S. roads, often as a result of drunk driving. If your holiday plans involve alcohol, make sure to drink responsibly, designate a sober driver, or plan for a ride before you drink. Drunk driving is a negligent and entirely preventable act, and Southern California law enforcement will be on high alert for impaired motorists.
  • Fun with Fireworks
    If you are planning on celebrating Independence Day with a fireworks display of your own, it is crucial to exercise caution - fireworks account for numerous emergency room visits, burn injuries, and eye injuries each year. Make sure to use fireworks in a safe location away from people and property. Also be sure to supervise children around fireworks and to never re-light or pick up fireworks that did not ignite or go off the first time.
  • Grilling Safety
    There are few better ways to celebrate a holiday weekend than a barbecue. Although grilling may be a common past-time, it can also be dangerous, especially when used improperly. Because of this, it’s important to always grill outdoors away from structures and flammable materials, supervise the grill when in use, and keep children away.
  • Swimming Pool & Water Safety
    Have plans to enjoy the beach, lake, or swimming pool this weekend? Be aware that water safety is extremely important, especially when children are present. Always make sure everyone has a good grasp on swimming before getting in the water, kids are always supervised, and that you drink responsibly when enjoying the water.

Independence Day Marks an Increase in DUI Accidents

The Fourth of July is the holiday most associated with drunk driving accident fatalities, per NHTSA statistics. During the Fourth of July holiday periods of 2008-2012, there were 795 fatalities in drunk driving-related accidents, which involve drivers with blood alcohol concentrations of 0.08% or greater. These 795 fatalities account for 40% of all drunk driving fatalities in the U.S. across that same five-year time period.

Independence Day is also associated with drunk driving accidents involving high blood alcohol levels. Over the same five-year period of Fourth of July holiday drunk driving fatalities, 511 of these deaths occurred in accidents involving drivers with blood alcohol concentrations of 0.15% or more, which is well above the legal limit. At this level of intoxication, a driver is considered severely impaired and unable to drive safely.

Independence Day may mark an increase in drunk driving accidents for several reasons.The first is that alcohol is often involved in celebrations. Even normally responsible drivers may be tempted to drink and may unintentionally have "one too many" before they get behind the wheel. When you also consider that many celebrations go into the evening and night—usually for fireworks—you have the added dangers of drinking over a longer period of time and night driving. Driving at night is already more difficult than driving during the day due to visibility, and alcohol can only decrease a driver's ability to safely operate a vehicle.

In San Diego and across the U.S., law enforcement agencies are stepping up to stop drunk driving. They will deploy increased patrols to find and pull over intoxicated drivers and will carry out sobriety checkpoints to find drunk drivers and hopefully deter drunk driving in the first place. Publicly advertising such patrols and checkpoints can encourage people to designate sober drivers and to call taxis, use public transportation or other driving services in lieu of driving under the influence.

Fourth of July weekend can be safe and enjoyable when you make the effort to avoid these common causes of accidents. The McClellan Law Firm hopes you celebrate safely!