The Fourth of July is coming up, which means you get to enjoy parties, fireworks and barbeque. But Independence Day also brings an increase in deaths due to drunk driving. In fact, nearly 40 percent of motor vehicle traffic fatalities that occur during Independence Day weekend are due to drunk driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And, some years are worse than other years, with no way to predict what will happen in 2017. During Independence Day weekend in 2012, for example, fatalities from alcohol-related crashes were six times higher than average.
So, keep yourself safe this Fourth of July with these party safety tips.
- Go to the party in a group and make a plan about getting home.
Either decide on a designated driver or choose a cab company to call when you go home. Throughout the party, keep an eye on your friends to make sure no one drinks too much or tries to drive home drunk. Have a backup plan, such as the number of someone who can pick you up, in case your initial plan goes wrong.
- Eat food and drink water.
If you personally plan to drink alcohol, make sure you eat before you start drinking and eat some snacks throughout the night. Drink non-alcoholic beverages, preferably water, between alcoholic drinks. This will slow down the effects of the alcohol (but not to the degree where it’s safe to drive!).
- Don’t mix alcohol with other drugs.
Even relatively safe drugs such as prescription and over-the-counter medications may have negative effects when combined with alcohol. Medications can also increase the effects of alcohol. Understand the effects of any medication you take and do not use any other drugs while drinking alcohol (other than what your doctor says you should take).
- Pay attention to the party.
Keep tabs on the party environment as the night goes on. If you find that most people are drinking significant amounts of alcohol, or the house is too crowded or filled with people you don’t know, or there if is any kind of harassment or aggressive behavior, then find a safe way home as soon as possible.
- Never drink and drive.
Even if you feel fine, never drive home after you’ve been drinking and don’t let anyone who’s been drinking drive you home. Stick to your original plan or backup plan that you devised before you started to drink alcoholic beverages.
- Be a cautious host.
If you’re hosting a party, make non-alcoholic drinks such water, soda and juice as readily available as alcoholic ones. Collect car keys at the door, and keep an eye on your guests. You may need to let some of your friends stay the night or find them rides home.
Are you a drunk driving victim?
No matter how responsibly you behave, there are other people on the road who are driving while intoxicated. If you or a loved one has been involved in a drunk driving accident, the personal injury attorneys at F. Craig Wilkerson can pursue your case to help you receive fair compensation. Contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation or call us at: