We all love celebrating the Fourth of July, and why wouldn’t we? Whether it’s going on vacation, attending barbeques, watching the fireworks, or just enjoying the much-needed long weekend with some of our good friends and family, this time of year certainly has no shortage of redeeming qualities. However, there is one aspect of our nation’s Independence Day that is not so wonderful, drinking and driving.
Every year around this time, hundreds of Americans lose their lives because of alcohol-related car accidents, and thousands of additional road users suffer serious life altering injuries at the hands of individuals who chose to get behind the wheel after having too much to drink. It is this volume of drivers operating their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol and drugs that is to blame for the Fourth of July being repeatedly ranked as the deadliest holiday of the year, even beating out New Years. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
As car accident lawyers, we know how dangerous alcohol related crashes can be, and we want to do everything possible to keep Illinois residents safe this holiday. No matter what your plans are for the Fourth, if they involve alcohol, we urge you to keep the following tips in mind:
Pick a Designated Driver BEFORE Anyone Starts Drinking-When going to a bar or get together, taking a few minutes to make sure everyone in your group is on the same page will allow everyone to have a more enjoyable night, and it will ensure that each person gets home safely. Designate a sober driver to get you home, and make sure they understand their responsibilities. To be clear, the designated driver should not be the person that has consumed the least alcohol; a designated driver should abstain from alcohol for the entire night.
Give Up Your Keys to A Host or Someone Sober-Often, a person may believe that they are fine to drive even when others can clearly see otherwise. If you are at a friends house or a gathering, give your keys to someone who you can trust and tell them to return them only when they believe it is safe for you to operate your car.
Stick Together and Watch Out For Friends-As the above tips have already pointed out, there is strength in numbers. Whether you are sober or you have been drinking, you can probably tell when a friend has had too many drinks to drive. If you see a friend attempt to drive home drunk, speak up and confront them about it. They may be angry for a night, but they will thank you for it later.
As car accident lawyers, our legal team has witnessed just how damaging drunk driving crashes can be. We hope that these safety tips will help keep a few more people safe this holiday season, and we hope that you and your family experience nothing but happiness this Fourth of July!