NBC News reports this Independence Day holiday may be the deadliest in recent memory. Already, July 4 is a day that sees an above average number of traffic crashes for July (and motor vehicle accidents are more common in the summer, anyway), but coupled with the long weekend, partying, and presumably nice weather, the risk for accidents – fatal and nonfatal – is increased. So, as you and your friends and families pack your bags and get ready to enjoy the celebratory weekend, The National Safety Council reminds drivers to focus on the safety of their family by following these tips:
- Buckle Up
- Slow Down
- No phones while driving – and especially no texting while driving
- If you plan to drink, don’t drive – get a designated driver
It goes without saying that staying alert, and driving defensively is especially important over the weekend.
But driving isn’t the only danger that presents itself this time of year. Of course, what makes the Fourth of July celebration unique are the fireworks, sparklers, firecrackers and other loud – and flammable – devices. Just as road safety is a leading cause for concern this holiday season, so is fire safety.
The US Consumer Products Safety Commission just released its annual fireworks report from 2014. In all of that year, approximately 10,500 people went to emergency rooms for firework-related injuries. Check out CPSC’s Fireworks Safety Education Center for more graphics, safety tips, and other useful information about firework safety. There is also a link to the CPSC photo gallery showing how light fireworks, sparklers, and firecrackers can cause clothing to catch fire and result in serious injuries.
As a final point – remember that people are not the only ones celebrating on July 4. Your pets are often along for the ride – whether an actual road trip, a large party, or just a walk to watch fireworks. Check out PetFinder’s infographic for suggestions on keeping your pooch protected. And, if you’re a cat-family, Chicago-based cat rescue Treehouse Humane Society has this primer on how to minimize the scaredy cat in your house. Both resources will help your pets cope with the inevitable loud noises and crowds of people.
With these tips, hopefully you can focus on having a fun and safe July 4th holiday!