Fireworks and Fun on the 4th: How to Celebrate Independence Day Safely
Lighting fireworks, enjoying a couple of drinks, and driving to visit friends and family — many of the things that make the 4th of July weekend fun also present some safety risks. This year, please be aware of these dangers so you can have a fun and safe Independence Day!
July 3rd and 4th are in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) top 10 deadliest drunk driving days.
The IIHS used their Fatality Analysis Reporting System to compile a list of the days of the calendar days when the most DUI-related deaths occurred from 2010-2014. The statistics reveal that the 4th of July has the second-highest rate of intoxication traffic fatalities, behind New Year’s Day, with 278 of 592 fatal car accidents caused by drunk driving, or 47%. July 3rd followed closely behind at #6 on the list. On July 3rd of the studied years, 41% of all deadly crashes were a result of driving while intoxicated, contributing to 219 of 533 accidents.
Do not drive drunk under any circumstances! Always choose a designated driver if you absolutely must drive during the holiday, and exercise extra precaution on the road.
Firecrackers, sparklers, and bottle rockets caused approximately 1,700 emergency room injuries in 2018.
The risks of using large fireworks as a non-professional are well-known, however, even smaller fireworks caused a significant portion of the 9,100 injuries that occurred in 2018. The Consumer Products Safety Commission’s (CPSC) 2018 Fireworks Annual Report showed that 1,000 accidents were caused by firecrackers, 500 by sparklers, and 200 by bottle rockets.
Remember to only use fireworks as intended, and wear protective clothing when lighting fireworks to protect yourself from burns. To be extra safe, opt for a community fireworks show instead of your own backyard celebration.
Intoxication was the cause of 19% of deadly boating accidents in 2017.
In addition to operator oversight and maintenance defects, operating a boat while under the influence is a top cause of boating accidents — the leading cause of boating fatalities overall, according to a federal recreational boating report.
Never drive a boat while using alcohol, and do not ride with someone who is. Whenever you are on a boat, wear a life jacket.
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