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Holiday Safety Tips: Fourth of July

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The Fourth of July is nearly here, and our entire legal team at The Daspit Law Firm would like to wish everyone a Happy Independence Day. During this time of year, we believe it is important to reflect on what it means to live in America, and to celebrate a great democracy where we have laws and a civil justice system in place that protect the rights of victims when they suffer injuries that could and should have been prevented.

Although we encourage Fourth of July celebrations, we also know the dangers and risks associated with this summer holiday. In fact, our personal injury lawyers see notable seasonal trends when it comes to the types of accident cases we handle in the summer months, and especially those during and around the Fourth of the July.

Because there are real risks associated with this time of year, we wanted to discuss a few common dangers and provide some safety tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe. Whether you’re planning to celebrate at home, attend an event, or have plans to get out and about, keep the following in mind:

  • Drunk Driving Accidents – Drunk and impaired driving is a hazard on public roadways throughout the year, but statistics show that it drunk driving wrecks, injuries, and deaths spike during the summer and during holidays like Fourth of July. If you’re plans to celebrate the birth of our nation involve alcoholic beverages, you can do your part to reduce risks for yourself and others around you by drinking responsibly, or by planning for a sober ride by using a designated driver, taxi or rideshare services (i.e. Uber or Lyft), or simply not driving at all and spending the night where you’ll be celebrating. Remember, law enforcement throughout Texas will be on high alert for drunk drivers during the holiday week.
  • Other Roadway Risks – Drunk driving is not the only risk we face on public roads and highways during holidays like Fourth of July. In fact, motorists face increased risks of accidents posed by many factors, including substantial increases in motor vehicle traffic, more pedestrians and bicyclists, events that close roadways or slow traffic near roads, and more. If you’re planning on hitting the road to start a vacation or get you where you’ll be celebrating, keep these increased risks in mind and be extra vigilant behind the wheel. This means not only avoiding drinking and driving, but also distracted driving, high speeds, dangerous lane changes, and other risky driving behaviors.
  • Boating Under the Influence – Just as rates of drunk driving increase during holidays like the Fourth, so do the numbers of boating accidents. The Fourth of July and days and weekends around the holiday have become one of the most popular times of year for boating – whether that means boating in the open ocean or lakes. Unfortunately, boat operators who celebrate too much and whom are negligent can place others around them at risk when they choose to operate their boats while intoxicated. Boating under the influence is a crime similar to driving while intoxicated (DWI), and victims harmed by drunk boaters have every right to hold them accountable. Stay safe when boating by always having a sober driver, and by taking steps to ensure everyone is supervised and wearing appropriate life vests, helmets, and safety gear when necessary.
  • Fireworks – Fireworks and the Fourth go hand in hand, but that’s not to say they don’t create substantial risks of fires, injuries, and even death. Ultimately, the safest way to enjoy holiday fireworks is to see them at a public or private event put on by licensed professionals. If you want to use fireworks of your own, make sure they comply with the laws of your local municipality, and are used far enough away from spectators, buildings, vehicles, and flammable hazards and never aimed at people. You’ll also want to all instructions are followed, any children are supervised, and that you have a supply of water close by just in case. The Red Cross further advises that only one firework be used at a time, and that no one attempt to relight any “duds.” Safety should always be the number one priority when using fireworks.
  • Water Safety – Enjoying the water is one of the most popular ways to enjoy the Fourth of July. Whether you’ll be at a private or public pool, a lake, or the beach, make sure you focus on safety by using approved life jackets and safety gear when necessary, supervising children, using the buddy system, and keeping an eye on guests who may be drinking. If you’re at the beach, you’ll also want to enjoy your time at one where lifeguards are on duty, check for weather and water conditions, and avoid rip currents in the open water and near piers or jetties. Rip currents account for numerous injuries and deaths nationwide. If you or someone you know is caught in one, swim parallel to the shore until you can emerge from the current and head back to safety.
  • Grilling Safety – Grilling is also one of the most popular pastimes during the Fourth, and one that also poses a number of risks. If you’re grilling, be sure to use it in a safe location away from enclosed areas and structures, use long-handled tools made for grills, and follow instructions from the manufacturer. Supervision is always important when grilling safely, especially if children are nearby.

The Daspit Law Firm hopes you and your loved ones have a fun and safe Fourth of July. Because we know preventable accidents can happen to anyone at any time – especially when others are negligent – we make ourselves available 24/7 to victims and families who would like to discuss a potential personal injury case and how we can help protect your rights. Contact us if you wish to request a free consultation.

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