Fireworks, barbeques and other festivities are hallmarks of the July 4th holiday for many people.
Tragically, however, U.S. Independence Day is not only associated with celebrations and fun. For law enforcement and transportation safety officials, July 4th is also known as being the single deadliest day of the year when it comes to traffic crashes. That’s because, as federal data reveals, more fatal auto accidents occur on July 4th than any other day of the year.
July 4th & Fatal Auto Crashes: A Closer Look at the Data
Averaging traffic crash data from the past five years reveals that, on a given July 4th holiday, roughly 144 traffic-related fatalities occur. What may be just as distressing as this finding are the facts that:
- About 10 percent of these deaths involve teens.
- More than 40 percent of the deadly auto wrecks that occur over July 4th involve at least one motorist with a BAC over the legal limit (i.e., at least one driver who is legally drunk or impaired).
- The number of impaired drivers on the road during July 4th triples during the evening hours, significantly increasing the risk of deadly crashes after the sun goes down on Independence Day.
- Many other forms of driver negligence – such as driver distraction and motorists’ failure to abide by traffic laws – also contribute to the spike in deadly traffic crashes over the July 4th
Protecting Your Safety & Independence on July 4th: How to Avoid a Deadly Auto Crash
Knowing that the July 4th weekend will bring an elevated risk of fatal car wrecks, here are some things to keep in mind (and do) this coming weekend in order to minimize your crash risk and enjoy a safe, fun Independence Day:
- Never drive when impaired – Driving with a BAC of 0.08 can quadruple your risk of being involved in deadly crash, as alcohol impairment affects motorists’ abilities to perceive their surroundings and safely operate their vehicles.
- Always comply with traffic laws when on the roads – Speeding, running red lights and otherwise violating traffic laws will also increase your crash risk, especially when there’s a lot of traffic on the roads.
- Consider making plans to avoid driving at night – Given that the risk of a deadly car crash exponentially increases during the evening hours, try to make plans to not be on the roads during these times. Even if you are safe, alert and sober, you never know when other motorists are – and avoiding high-risk times (like evening hours) is a surefire way to minimize your crash risk.
- Report motorists who seem to be impaired to authorities – If you are sharing the road with any driver who seems to be less than sober, call police to report the driver. Getting impaired drivers off of the roads ASAP is the best way to reduce the chances of a serious crash and promote roadway safety for everyone.
Contact a Columbia SC Personal Injury Lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law
If you have been injured in a car accident – or if you have lost a loved one to a deadly auto crash, contact a Columbia SC personal injury lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for clear answers about your recovery options, as well as effective legal advocacy moving forward.
At Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A., we understand that no amount of money may ever be able to atone for the impacts of catastrophic injuries or the death of a loved one. We are also aware, however, that pursuing financial recoveries in these situations can be integral to getting survivors and families the financial support they may need as they focus on healing, laying a loved one to rest and dealing with their grief.
We encourage you to call our firm at (800) 531-9780 or contact us online to set up a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you can find out more about your rights, as well as how we can help you.