We mentioned the disaster that distracted driving can be in our blog “Distracted Driving: A Personal Injury Claim” and with the Fourth of July celebration fast approaching we wanted to remind everyone to drive safe and to celebrate safely.

Fourth of July is supposed to be about celebration, freedom, fireworks, and for many, alcohol. In fact, more alcohol is sold for Fourth of July festivities over any other holiday including St. Patrick’s and New Year’s. Over 68 million cases of beer are sold every year for Fourth of July across the country.

More beer being consumed means there is a greater chance of someone getting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, nearly 40% of all DUI accidents in the last five years have occurred during Independence Day celebrations.

When it comes to Fourth of July festivities, be sure to plan accordingly. Make sure that you have everything you will need for your party already stocked at the house; avoid having to leave to go to the store to restock buns or refreshments.

If you are planning to consume alcohol during your celebration, be sure to have a designated driver already establish prior to the start of the party or make arrangements to stay with your host.

Those who are not drinking or who have been established as the designated driver here are a few additional safety tips for when you are on the road:

  • Ensure that you are cognitive enough to drive (not sleepy, not buzzed, not intoxicated)
  • Make sure that you and everyone in your vehicle is properly buckled
  • Fuel up the day before festivities if you are low on gas to limit the amount of time on the road
  • Mind the “3 second” gap. Distractions may be high with fireworks on the loose. Be sure you will have plenty of time to react.
  • Reduce distractions and keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes and mind on the road.
  • Pull over to a well-lit area if you need to make a call or answer a text.
  • Be mindful of the time – many parties begin to dwindle after midnight but this Fourth of July lands on a Tuesday so festivities may end a little sooner.
  • Avoid driving, if possible, when others may be leaving a party of their own. You can trust yourself to not be intoxicated but don’t take the risk as others may not have done the same.
  • Be sure you know where you are going – set up your navigation before leaving the party and not while driving.

Regardless of how you choose to celebrate this year’s Independence Day, have a safe holiday!