We all love to celebrate the Fourth of July with family, friends, food, and fireworks. But, some of the most fun activities on this holiday can also become the most dangerous.
One of the biggest dangers is drinking and driving. Having too much to drink and then getting behind the wheel can not only be a danger to yourself but to others on the road as well.
According to the US Department of Transportation, during the 4th of July holiday in 2017:
- 601 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. 39% (237) of those fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired crashes. This is a 23% increase from 2016, during which 192 people were killed during the same holiday period.
- 60% of those who died in alcohol-impaired crashes were in a crash involving at least one driver or motorcyclist with a BAC of .15 or higher.
If you are drinking during your Fourth of July celebrations, plan for a ride home, whether it be from an Uber or a designated driver. And, don’t take the risk of driving while under the influence of alcohol because even buzzed driving is drunk driving.
Another danger to be wary of this holiday weekend is fireworks.
According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks send an average of 240 people to the emergency room every July. The most common areas of the body to be injured are:
- Hands and fingers 36%
- Head, face, and ears 22%
- Eyes 16%
Many in Northwest Arkansas like to set up their own firework display but, the best way to minimize firework injuries is to leave it to the professionals.
If you are having your own firework display this year, here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
- Light one firecracker at a time, and never try to relight one that hasn’t gone off.
- Never hold a firework with a lit fuse or lean over the fireworks with any part of your body.
- Don’t point fireworks directly at people.
- Be mindful of where you place fireworks. Don’t set them off near structures or under trees.
- Keep a water bucket close in case of fire. Soak fireworks in the bucket before throwing them away.
Whatever your plans are this holiday weekend, make sure to make safety a priority, and have fun!
Caddell Reynolds. Make the right call!