As COVID-19 restrictions and regulations ease, more and more Americans are ready to celebrate the Fourth of July. Even if a large gathering is beyond your comfort level, the chance to safely get together with friends and family is one many Americans will likely take.
However you choose to celebrate this Fourth of July, The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., hopes you and your loved ones stay safe, especially if your plans involve driving. Unfortunately, the Fourth of July is one of the most dangerous times of year on the road.
Roadway Risks on Independence Day
The summer months have long been associated with a higher number of motor vehicle accidents, but the Fourth of July is a hazard all unto its own. It is the single most dangerous day to be on the road, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
That’s due to several factors, including:
- Drunk driving: Drunk and buzzed driving are major concerns on the Fourth of July. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 515 people were killed in traffic accidents during Independence Day weekend in 2019—38% of these accidents involved alcohol-impaired drivers.
- More vehicles on the road: As a federal holiday, the Fourth of July allows many Americans to take extended vacations. Though delays are always a concern during holidays, researchers anticipate another spike in traffic accidents this year with the country opening back up.
- Speeding: With places to go and things to do, many motorists drive at excessive speeds during holiday weekends. This increases the risk of getting into a crash and suffering serious or fatal injuries.
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving is a year-round hazard, but it can be even more dangerous during the holidays. With more cars and pedestrians out and about on public streets, if a driver takes their eyes off the road for just one second, it could spell disaster.
- An influx of inexperienced teen drivers: Summer break means an increase in the number of inexperienced teen drivers on the road. In fact, the Fourth of July comes right in the middle of what the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety refers to as the “100 Deadliest Days.” Starting on Memorial Day and ending on Labor Day, more traffic accidents occur during this time period than at any other time of the year involving teen drivers. Per data, teens are more likely to drive while distracted, speed, and not buckle up.
Tips for Driving Safe on the Fourth of July
- Party with a Plan: If you plan to drink on the Fourth of July, plan ahead of time to ensure you don’t drink and drive, such as by designating a sober driver, taking rideshare, using public transit, etc.
- Pre-Trip Planning: Just as planning a ride home after drinking is important, so too is planning before you head out on any trip. If your plans involve traveling by car, take preventative measures and have your vehicle checked and tuned up to ensure it is in working order.
- Avoid Driving Distractions: Make sure you know where you’re going and have everything you need before you hit the road. Whether it’s eating, selecting music, using a navigation system, or texting, distracted driving substantially increases your risk of a crash.
- Drive with a Copilot: If you can, try to carpool with a friend or family member who can act as your copilot. Having an extra pair of eyes on the road can work to prevent accidents.
What to Do After an Accident
In the event that you are involved in an auto accident, follow these steps to help ensure everyone’s safety, as well as your own:
- Check to see if anyone is hurt. Call 911, if needed.
- Call the authorities for help with getting vehicles safely off the road. Make sure to also file an official accident report.
- Document the accident and gather as much information as you can, such as driver and witness information, vehicle and insurance information, and photos/videos of the vehicles, scene, and any visible injuries.
- Report the accident to your insurance company.
- Promptly visit a medical professional, even if you feel fine and are not visibly injured.
- Consult an attorney about your rights.
Legal Support After an Accident
If you are injured in a traffic accident despite your best efforts, you may have the right to legal compensation. Do not hesitate to reach out to an attorney to learn your rights and options. You could be compensated for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and more.
The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., has recovered millions in compensation for victims injured in a range of motor vehicle accidents. If you have questions about a potential personal injury case and how our award-winning attorneys can help, call (212) 577-9325 or contact us online to request a FREE consultation.