The Fourth of July is meant to be a day of celebration. From cookouts in the afternoon to fireworks at night, it is a day intended to be spent with friends and family. Unfortunately, for many individuals in the U.S., a fun day off of work quickly becomes tragic when drunk drivers head onto the road. July 4th weekend is one of the deadliest holiday weekends each year – often worse than New Year’s Day, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Fourth of July Accident Statistics
Every year on July 4th, an average of 118.4 individuals are killed in accidents, IIHS reported. Coming in a close second is New Year’s Day with an average of 118.2 deaths per year, for the years between 2010 and 2014.
The reason for the record-setting number of fatalities each year is a combination of increased drunk driving and motorcycles on the road. The IIHS reported alcohol was a factor in 47 percent of July 4th traffic fatalities. The normal daily average is only 35 percent. For motorcycle riders, there is an average of 26 deaths on July 4th, compared to the normal daily average of 12.1 the rest of the year.
In Texas alone, the Fourth of July resulted in 39 fatalities over the 78-hour holiday weekend in 2015. This was more than the New Year weekend, yet not the most deadly holiday weekend in the state that year. Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving all had a great number of individual deaths – though they did not all have a higher number of fatal accidents.
Avoiding a Fourth of July Auto Accident
It is possible to enjoy Fourth of July festivities without causing an accident and while reducing your risk of a crash. Consider these holiday weekend tips:
- Designate a sober driver or rely on taxis: If you want to imbibe while you spend time with family and friends, make plans for how you will get home. See whether one of your friends or relatives is willing to be the designated driver. If everyone wants a cocktail or two, plan on using a taxi or calling a ride-sharing service.
- Provide alcohol-free refreshments: If you are the host, ensure your designated drivers have something refreshing to enjoy other than water or pop. Mix up some alcohol-free cocktails so they can feel like part of the fun without the negative consequences.
- Plan an overnight celebration: If you and your social group like to party hard, consider an overnight celebration at someone’s home, a hotel, or an Airbnb. That way everyone can enjoy good food, great drinks, a late night, and sleep it all off before heading home the next day.
- Drive carefully: Even if you are sober and ready to drive, others on the road might not be. Never speed on your way home and keep a watchful eye out for swerving or erratic drivers. If someone is one the road who clearly should not be, immediately call the vehicle and its license number into the police. It could save someone’s life.
Did You Lose Someone on Fourth of July?
If you lost a loved one in a Fourth of July vehicle accident caused by a drunk driver, contact a passionate New Braunfels wrongful death attorney from The Bettersworth Law Firm right away. We can review your situation and explain your legal options, including a possible survival claim or wrongful death action.