It is not difficult to understand why during holidays, and especially the 4th of July, car accidents and fatal injuries are at their highest peak. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has commented a number of times over the years when the 4th of July weekend is approaching that motorists need to take special precautions when most people take 3 to 4 days off. It is a time of parties and celebrations but also one where excessive drinking and late night revelry can lead to 4th of July injuries and tragic consequences.
Last July 4th, there were nearly 500 fatal accidents over a three-day period and thousands of injuries, many catastrophic. Over 40% of these fatalities are attributable to alcohol and a fair number are likely due to distracted driving from cell phone use or other conditions that cause drivers to lose focus.
The holiday weekend is meant to be enjoyed but you can avoid tragedy by using commonsense when you go to a party or barbeque, fireworks display or any other event where you plan to be driving or drinking. Though many of the following suggestions may seem obvious, it is worthwhile to repeat them so as to be reminded of how you can avert 4th of July car accidents:
- If you are going on a road trip that is more than an hour of driving, inspect your car’s tires and brakes and be sure your battery is not corroded. The last thing you want is to be stranded on the side of the road, especially at night, when fatigued and drunk drivers are abundant and visibility is limited. Fully inflated tires and functioning brakes are always essential but in heavy traffic, it can make a major difference in stopping in time, staying in line and avoiding blowouts at high speeds.
- If you will be drinking, have a designated sober driver. There is usually one person in the group who either does not drink.
- Instead of driving, use a cab or ride sharing service such as Uber or Lyft. In urban and many suburban areas, these vehicles should be in abundance during the holiday weekend and into the early morning hours. The Uber and Lyft apps can be downloaded on your cell phone and your payment is made automatically when your ride is completed.
- Don’t drink and drive. Ask your host if you can stay over or at least leave your car and take a cab or ride sharing vehicle home.
- Be especially cautious at night and on rural roads. As indicated, drunk drivers are more prevalent late at night. Rural roads are often narrow or two lane roads where it is easy for a fatigued, distracted or impaired motorist to momentarily lose control and cross over into your lane.
- During fireworks displays, pedestrians are walking around to get a view of the event. Animals are often frightened by the loud noises and may suddenly appear on the roadway.
- If you see a motorist who is driving erratically or appears impaired, get their license number and pull off to the side of the road to call 911. You are doing everyone a service by preventing a potential disaster.
- If you are in an injury accident, call immediately for medical assistance for yourself or anyone else.
- Promptly seek legal assistance. You are absolutely entitled to compensation for damages you sustained as a result of the negligence of others.
- Do not attempt to handle your own claim as so many injured people who do so do not receive the compensation they deserve for their injuries because they made comments to insurance adjusters that jeopardized their claim, did not adequately document or support their injuries and damages or failed to include other responsible parties.
Damages in 4th of July Car Accidents
If you sustain injuries in a car accident over the holiday weekend, or at any other time, you may be compensated for your injuries if another motorist or some other party negligently caused the accident or their negligent conduct was a substantial contributing factor. For instance, if the other driver was speeding, made an unsafe lane change or rear-ended your vehicle, then that is obviously negligent driving. But if there was inadequate signage, a roadway defect or malfunction in the car that caused a driver to lose control, then other parties may be involved as well.
Your damages in a car accident injury claim may include:
- Past and future lost earnings
- Past and future medical expenses
- Diminishment of quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma such as PTSD
- Spousal claim for loss of consortium
Retain the Offices of Neil Burns
When accidents happen and people are injured, many in the Boston area turn to Neil Burns, a friend and attorney who has obtained millions in compensation for his clients in his 30 years of practice. Your case deserves special attention and to be handled in a professional manner so that you receive the compensation your case demands. Call his office today for a free analysis of your injury claim.