The Fourth of July is our favorite summertime holiday. We get to celebrate our country’s independence with picnics and BBQs, get-togethers with family and friends, block parties, pool parties, and of course, stunning fireworks displays! What a great holiday. But, as with any holiday, the odds of unfortunate incidents goes up. Drinking alcohol, plus fire… usually not the best combo.
Here are some ways you can stay safe this Independence Day.
4th of July Safe Driving Tips
1. Don’t drink and drive.
No matter what, don’t drink and drive. If you’ve had a few drinks, either stay put or get a ride with a responsible, sober adult. It’s simply not worth the risk. First, the police will be out in droves (and you probably don’t want a DUI), and second, an accident could cost you or someone else a life.
Planning ahead is key to ensuring you don’t make a stupid decision while your judgment is impaired. Uber is a good option if you and all your friends are drinking.
2. Watch out for kiddos, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
Parents don’t always keep the closest eye on their kids during neighborhood gatherings. Maybe it’s because they’re enjoying themselves, kids are running in packs, and other parents are keeping an eye out… but don’t take any of that for granted. Neighbors may not spend much time in the car on the 4th, but there will still be drivers coming through.
If you’re driving on the 4th, slow down and stay alert, especially after dark when visibility is limited. Remember that there may be people walking, kids playing, and people riding bikes.
3. Watch out for drunk drivers.
If you’re responsible and not driving drunk, bless you. But you can be certain there WILL be plenty of people on the road who’ve had too much to drink or may be tired and fall asleep at the wheel. If you see someone driving erratically, avoid getting too close to them and, if you can, pull over and call 911 to report them and get them off the road.
If you know someone who shouldn’t be getting behind the wheel, offer to give them a ride or call them an Uber.
4. This goes for boats, too.
Many of you will be lucky enough to enjoy the 4th of July festivities from a boat. Alcohol and boating is also a dangerous combination and can lead to boat operation problems as well as drowning.
As you would with a car, appoint a DD (Designated Driver) to operate the boat. If there are children or non-swimmers aboard, make sure a sober, responsible adult is supervising them.
5. Fireworks safety.
This doesn’t have anything to do with driving (unless you try to light fireworks while driving, which we definitely do not recommend), but since many people will be putting on their own fireworks show, please be careful.
- Make sure kids are supervised around fireworks.
- Use fireworks only as intended.
- Don’t hold fireworks near your face or point them at someone else.
- Don’t light fireworks if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Have a safe and happy 4th of July!