As everyone in Inverness, Dunnellon and elsewhere in Citrus County is planning their Independence Day celebration, few are aware that many traffic accidents occur on the Fourth of July requiring drivers to pay extra close attention to the road.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more than 780 people were killed on July 4th between the years of 2007-2011. Nearly half of the auto accidents that occur on July 4th are related to alcohol, according to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The Fourth of July is a day to show your patriotism and have fun. Throughout Citrus County, people will observe the holiday with barbecues, fireworks displays, boating and many other events. While most of us will be focusing on food and fireworks, it is important to be aware that we should also pay attention to safe driving practices.
The Fourth of July happens to be one of the deadliest times of year. Fatal automobile accidents soar on most major holidays, and that includes the Fourth of July. The statistics are sobering:
• According to the NHTSA, 392 people lost their lives in collisions during the 2010 Fourth of July holiday period.
• Of those fatal wrecks in 2010 during the 3-day Fourth of July holiday period, nearly 40 percent were caused by a drunk driver.
• Due to the fact that fireworks are usually set off at night, most collisions take place once it is dark on the Fourth of July. During the 2010 July 4th holiday, a full 80 percent of fatalities took place at night.
At Whittel & Melton, our Citrus County Auto Accident Attorneys urge you and your loved ones to be safe this Fourth of July and refrain from drinking and driving. By paying extra attention to the road, you can prevent traffic accidents throughout Citrus County on Independence Day. Before you head out to your Fourth of July party this year, remember your safe driving checklist to keep you and your loved ones safe:
• Outfit your car with a first aid kit in case of an emergency.
• Check the basics on your car before heading on any long trips.
• Designate a sober driver before consuming any alcohol.
• Obey all traffic rules and follow the speed limit.
• Always wear your seat belt, no matter how short your trip. Encourage everyone riding in your car to do the same.
• Avoid any driver distractions such as texting, talking on a cell phone, surfing the Internet or shuffling through your iPod while driving.
• Stay alert and keep an eye out for impaired drivers.
Whether you are going to a Fourth of July barbecue at your friend’s or a family member’s house or travelling to an outdoor fireworks show later on in the day, be careful on the road this July 4. Before you begin celebrating, make sure you have a safe way to get home.
Even when you exercise all necessary precautions, you can still find yourself the victim of an unfortunate traffic collision. If you or someone you loved is involved in a car wreck this Fourth of July, contact a Citrus County Auto Accident Attorney at Whittel & Melton by dialing 352-726-0078.
From all of us at Whittel & Melton, have a safe and happy Fourth of July!