ASK GARY: Can you provide tips on on how to have a safe July 4th weekend?
July 4th is approaching and for many, a big concern will be finding the best place to watch fireworks. It’s a fun-packed day, with barbeques and games in the afternoon, and an amazing spectacle of fiery festivities at night.
Whatever your plans are, there is some sobering news that I would like to share. The unfortunate reality is that Independence Day is one of the deadliest holidays for motorists, second only to New Year’s Eve. Nearly half these accidents involve alcohol, and for teenage drivers, this holiday has the most fatal vehicular accidents all year. That festive atmosphere we all look forward to can seriously impair your judgment (with some extra help from alcohol), especially without any prior thought or preparation beforehand.
So before you make your July 4th plans, bear in mind these tips that can help ring in American Independence Day as safely as possible.
Keep your eyes on the road, watch out for dangerous drivers, and avoid using your phone, for talking and especially texting. If you will be drinking, consider limiting yourself, assigning a designated driver, or just spending the night. Remind your friends to share these same precautions. If you have a teen driver, set rules and enforce them. Clearly communicate and enforce your expectations for safe driving, including: wearing seat belts, no texting or cell phone use, etc. Establish curfews and make it very clear that they cannot drive while impaired or get in a car with anyone who is. If this information all seems obvious, that’s because it is!
More than anything, I hope that this message will stay in the back of your mind when July 4th comes around. Invite friends over and cherish your family. Eat, drink, and savor the beautiful summer weather. Enjoy life for everything it has to offer.
But please, always take extra care while driving.