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Fourth of July Safety Tips

While the Fourth of July is a wonderful time to celebrate our country with family and friends, it is also associated with a rise in injuries. In 2013, Forbes magazine named the Independence Day holiday “the most dangerous holiday of the year.” From illegal fireworks to busy roadways, it is important to take steps to stay safe during the holiday weekend.

Driving Safety

In 2013, there were 512 people killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the Fourth of July holiday (6 p.m. July 3rd through 5:59 a.m. July 8th), according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Tragically, designating a sober driver could have prevented many of these accidents.

According to the NHTSA, 38 percent of the fatal Fourth of July crashes involved at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 grams per deciliter or higher. The California Highway Patrol made 1,562 arrests last year for driving under the influence. Given the risks, we encourage our readers to buckle up, slow down, and designate a sober driver this Independence Day.

Fireworks Safety

While fireworks and the Fourth of July go hand in hand, it is best to leave them to the professionals. Nearly 10,000 fireworks-related injuries are treated in U.S. emergency rooms every year. Overall, two out of five people injured are under 15 years old. While many consider sparklers to be relatively safe, they reach dangerously high temperatures of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit and can cause serious burn injuries.

If you can’t resist the temptation to light off a few fireworks, please keep the following safety tips in mind:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a San Diego motor vehicle accident, don’t hesitate to contacta San Diego personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.