Although New Year’s Eve is associated with an increased risk of drunk driving accidents and Thanksgiving often involves long-distance travel over snow-slicked streets, the Fourth of July is unequivocally the most dangerous holiday of the year. Combining hot temperatures with alcohol, fireworks, and other potential hazards can create a “perfect storm” of factors likely to lead to injury.
In Florida, these risks can be even more severe. Many of the Sunshine State’s residents flock to the beach to celebrate Independence Day, adding boating accidents, accidental drownings, and even shark attacks to the list of potential dangers. Learn more about the facts behind this increased risk and what you can do to protect your legal rights if you’re injured.
What Makes the Fourth of July So Dangerous?
The National Safety Council and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety collect and compile annual statistics on holiday-related injuries and mishaps. Each Fourth of July weekend, more than 100 Americans are killed in car crashes. A solid 40 percent of these accidents involve alcohol.
Some analysts believe that July 4th’s higher accident rate (as compared with New Year’s Eve, another dangerous holiday for drivers) is a direct result of summer’s hotter temperatures and increased risk of dehydration, both of which can be compounded by alcohol consumption. Drivers who have had a few too many and are also dealing with heat-related exhaustion might be more likely to fall asleep behind the wheel or fail to see a pedestrian in their path.
Fireworks accidents also contribute to the injury rate. Although some states have taken steps to ban certain fireworks, and all states require purchasers to be over the age of 18, each year more than 11,000 people—including children—are injured due to fireworks mishaps. Many of these injuries involve permanent damage to (or the loss of) eyes, ears, fingers, and other appendages.
Boating accidents and swimming injuries are two more Fourth of July risks. With higher traffic in Florida’s lakes, rivers, and oceans, the risk of boat-to-boat collisions increases, and hot temperatures can often mean heightened tempers and more aggressive driving maneuvers. Swimmers may be at risk of shark attacks, jellyfish stings, and—as recent news outlets have reported—sea lice bites.
Your Options After a Fourth of July Injury
While we here at Ginnis & Krathen hope everyone had a safe Fourth of July, if you were injured as a direct result o of someone else’s negligence, Ginnis, Krathen, & Zelnick, P.A. is here to help. We handle a wide range of injury claims, including boating accidents, car crashes, and even the reckless discharge of fireworks. Give us a call at (954) 905-4600 or visit our website today to set up a no-obligation consultation.