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Common 4th of July Accidents: When You Should Hire an Accident Lawyer

Did you know that Independence Day is the worst day to get behind the wheel?

Statistics suggest that an average of 400 people die each year on the Fourth of July alone. That’s a terrible way to celebrate American freedom! But if you stop driving, you won’t be able to attend your family’s celebration.

Staying sober and obeying the law isn’t enough. Sometimes an accident isn’t your fault, especially when so many people are using their smartphones while driving.

But car accidents aren’t the only thing you should keep on the lookout for this 4th of July!

Keep reading for the list of common 4th of July accidents.

Fireworks Accidents

1. Fireworks

Chances are you’ve played with those little pop-its as a kid. You toss them at your friend’s feet to make them jump or dance. At the end of the day, these poppers won’t cause many injuries. But today, we’re not talking about those kinds of fireworks.

How Many Injuries Are Caused By Fireworks?

In 2020, over 15,000 people visited the emergency room for injuries associated with fireworks. 66% of those injuries occurred in the month of July alone. Even if you don’t use fireworks on the 4th, odds are you’ll probably run into someone who will.

What Happens If Fireworks Hit You?

Bottle rockets can take an eye out. Cherry bombs and M-80s are high explosive and could blow off your hand or blind you. Other fireworks could cause third-degree burns or other injuries.

The fireworks that cause the most yearly injuries are sparklers, firecrackers, and bottle rockets. These guys, while seemingly harmless, can cause minor to severe burns on your fingers and hands. In fact, 33% of all injuries involving fireworks were on hands and fingers, causing blistering, redness, pain, and skin damage.

How Do Fireworks Accidents Happen? 

While it should be obvious that alcohol and fireworks don’t mix, some fall victim to fireworks accidents while drinking. Using fireworks when inebriated is a sure way to harm yourself or others and one of the common ways that fireworks accidents occur. You could suffer serious injuries or in some cases, death. Be sure to nominate people who are not drinking to handle all firework displays.

When handling fireworks, follow the instructions to the letter. These instructions exist solely for your safety, so don’t assume you know better than them. Many people suffer avoidable fireworks injuries by simply not taking the time to read the manufacturer’s instructions.

Some people even make the mistake of using illegal fireworks. Illegal fireworks are illegal often because they can cause you bodily harm. Do not trust self-made fireworks, since they may be incredibly dangerous.

On this 4th of July, use your best judgment and keep the safety of yourself and others a top priority.

If someone injures you with a firework, you should hire a personal injury lawyer. This includes not just burns or lacerations but hearing damage too. Accidents happen, but personal injury lawyers are there to help you get compensation for medical treatment.

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2. Auto Accidents

There’s always a lot of traffic on the roads on the 4th of July. Much of this traffic is during an already packed rush hour, but a lot of it is in the evening after people are leaving their fireworks celebrations and family parties.

Car Accident on the 4th of July

Auto accidents happen when you least expect them, turning a great night into a terrible one in a matter of seconds. Now add lots of tired, drunk people on the road, and you are at an even higher risk.

If you find yourself at the scene of an accident, you need a car accident lawyer. This can help you navigate a very tricky situation. Fourth of July car accidents are all too common, and an auto accident lawyer knows exactly what to do.

How Can You Avoid A Car Accident?

In most cases, a car accident isn’t your fault. But there are some things you can do to avoid a car accident this 4th of July:

  • Pay attention at all times. Do not give in to the temptation to look at your phone. If you must make a call, pull over.
  • If you need your phone for navigation, use voice commands and directions. Saving a few minutes by looking at your phone could cost you your life.
  • Be a defensive driver. Give at least 3 car lengths of space between you and the next driver. Use turn signals, and check blind spots before changing lanes.
  • If you notice a speeding or erratic driver, let them pass. Stay several lanes away from them. If necessary, pull over until they leave, and you get can home safely.
  • Use your seat belt and strap your kids into a car seat. A seat belt can save your life in the event of an accident. 
  • If you don’t feel comfortable in traffic, stay to the right. Follow the speed limits. Do not feel pressured to drive faster because of impatient drivers around you.
  • Finally, try to find a better route. Highways and freeways may be extra crowded, so try surface streets. Choose country roads over other routes.

What Should You Do in the Event of a Car Accident?

First and foremost, stay calm. If your car still works, drive it off the road to a safe location. If driving your vehicle causes more damage, then stop.

Assess yourself for injuries. Make note if you have anything serious, and avoid leaving the car if you see a lot of blood or feel dizzy. Get your phone and call 911.

If not, exit the car safely. If there’s heavy traffic behind you, try to exit out the right-side doors. Don’t do this if you’re injured.

In the event of heavy traffic, find a safe place far from your car and the road. Another car could accidentally rear-end your vehicle. This could put you in serious danger.

Make contact with the other driver if possible. If they have serious injuries, call 911. If both of you are okay, exchange contact and insurance information.

Avoid any type of altercation with the other driver. Getting into a fight can lead to charges. While it may be challenging to remain calm, there could be serious consequences later if you fly off the handle.

Contact your lawyer while you can. Note your location and the severity of the accident, and provide as many details as you can.

3. DUI Accidents

Alcohol is the central part of any 4th of July celebration. For many people, it’s one of the few holidays they get off work every year. But unfortunately, 41% of drivers killed during an auto accident on the Fourth of July were drunk. 

Policeman Conducting a Sobriety Test

What constitutes a DUI? The law is different in every state. In most states, you must have 0.08% BAC (blood alcohol content) to be legally drunk.

However, don’t fall into a false sense of security if you had only one drink. An officer can and will arrest you if he suspects that you are under the influence. Even if you are not legally drunk, you could get a steeper penalty for drinking and driving. 

Some states are incredibly strict, such as Alabama. If a policeman in Alabama finds a minor with less than 0.02% BAC, they could slap them with a DUI.

Keep in mind that most states have open bottle laws, too. You don’t have to be drunk to get arrested. If an officer finds an open bottle of alcohol in your car, they can arrest you immediately.

Penalties for DUIs are steep, but they get even steeper if you cause an accident. Get in contact with an auto accident attorney if you find yourself at the wheel after a DUI accident.

Driving Safety Tips For This 4th of July Weekend

It’s your decision whether you get a DUI this 4th of July. 

If you plan to get drunk away from home, arrange for a designated driver. Even if you only live a short distance from your destination, get someone who can drive your car. If you struggle to control yourself, surrender your keys to a friend.

If you cannot get a designated driver, don’t risk driving. Stay the night at your friend or family’s home. If you can’t do that, spend the night in your car.

Should you find yourself drunk behind the wheel, pull over immediately. Call for a friend to come to help you get home.

Getting a DUI doesn’t just put yourself at risk; you could be risking the lives of other innocent drivers. Some DUI offenders end up killing entire families.

You don’t want to live with that sort of guilt for the rest of your life. Driving drunk is not worth the consequences, ever. 

What Do You Do If a Police Officer Pulls You Over?

Know your Miranda rights. You do not have to self-incriminate. 

Further, you are not obliged to take a sobriety test or breathalyzer test. However, keep in mind that refusing to take these tests could get you in big trouble later.

Whatever the case, speak to your lawyer. They can tell you how to proceed.

Avoid 4th of July Injuries

The 4th of July is a time to celebrate American freedom. This can and should be a wonderful night with family and friends. However, keep in mind all the 4th of July accidents and what you can do to avoid injuries. 

If you or a loved one find yourselves injured after 4th of July incidents, working with the personal injury team at Wettermark Keith is the best way to bring a claim for the accident. We can help establish your claim to show the negligence of the other party involved.

Ready to work together? Contact us today for a free consultation.

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