The United States of America was founded 240 years ago, this Monday. The Fourth of July is a time for celebration for many households across the country. Celebrating usually includes spending time with family, cookouts and relaxation. However, with many holidays in the U.S., statistically, these days are much more dangerous than average days. This holiday is known for fireworks, friends and family, but can quickly turn when people end up drinking too much. As of 2009, July 4th was the deadliest day in the U.S. but has recently been competing with Memorial day, according to the NHTSA.
The date range between Memorial Day and Labor Day are labeled as the “100 Deadliest Days” for teens. Teens accounted for over 10% of fatal car accidents during this period. Since schools are out for the summer, this time gives teens less structure and more freedom.
July 4th Safety Tips:
Drinking and Driving
- According to the IIHS, there is a 250% increase in driving fatalities on Fourth of July compared to other holidays. Millions of people will be traveling this weekend to celebrate, an average of 50 miles away from their home. The longer than average travel times increases the chances of driving related accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 41% of all fatal accidents on July 4th are attributed to drinking and driving.
Stay Focused & Aware
- Whether you plan on celebrating or not on the 4th, it is still important to be aware during the holiday weekend. Reports of drinking and driving are unusually high for this weekend, knowing the risks can help you and your family make better-informed decisions. Many drivers are traveling to new locations, this on top of higher traffic rates and higher fatigue due to driving.
Have Multiple Plans
- One of the most important things is to be aware of what your plans are going to be during any holiday or celebration. Make sure you know how you are getting home and have more than one plan just in case. Uber and other ride-sharing services are good options but will likely be more expensive or will be too busy. Having a designated driver or plan on staying the night wherever you are celebrating are safer plans.