Should I Risk Driving on the Fourth of July?


Fireworks, BBQs, American flags – car accidents are probably the last thing on your mind this Fourth of July. Unfortunately, statistics show that the holiday can become fatal in an instant. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Independence Day ranked as the deadliest day on American roads for five consecutive years.

So before you get behind the wheel this weekend, you may want to ask yourself: is it worth it? The best strategy is oftentimes simply staying home and enjoying the festivities right where you're at. But if you must drive somewhere, consider implementing the following safety tips to protect yourself and others on the road.

Be on the lookout for drunk drivers.

Holidays are a prime-time for alcohol-related accidents and the Fourth of July is no different. Watch for anyone who looks like they are not in control of their vehicle and call 911 if you suspect intoxication. By the same token, avoid getting behind the wheel if you've been drinking and plan an alternate method of getting home if your party will involve alcohol.

Avoid driving late at night.

Get your driving done while it's still daylight. Fatal crashes are four times more likely to occur at night than during the day and you don't want to contribute to this statistic. If your party of choice will last into the wee hours of the morning, turn it into a sleepover and spend the night.

Wear your seatbelt.

It seems obvious, but hundreds of fatal crashes that occur each year could have been prevented by proper seatbelt usage. Even if your destination is just five minutes away, buckling up should be your first priority when you get behind the wheel.

Plan for traffic.

The one downside of the holiday weekend? Traffic jams that can back up for miles. Allowing for additional travel time can prevent the need for speeding and will reduce your stress levels while on the road. The more flexible your plans on the Fourth of July, the more likely you are to arrive safely and free of road rage.

Minimize your distractions.

Avoid the obvious distractions, like texting and eating, but keep yourself safe by also avoiding the more obscure ones, as well. Firework shows can often be seen from the car and although exciting, they are a recipe for disaster if you take your eyes off the road to watch. Pull your car over if you can't stay focused.

By doing your part to stay safe on the road, the risk of car accidents decreases significantly. Unfortunately, there is often nothing you can do to ward off other careless drivers and accidents do happen. If you suffer injuries from a car crash on the Fourth of July or were recently involved in another accident, our Clearwater personal injury lawyers are here for you with over 45 years of shared experience.

Find out how we can help you by contacting Cope, Zebro & Crawford, P.L. today.

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