Driver Safety: 4th of July Celebrations

driver safety 4th of July

The 4th of July is the biggest summer celebrations in the United States. From fireworks to fairs, there are a lot of fun events for people to attend. With increased crowds and traffic though, this day has become a deadly one on the roads. Before you celebrate the big day, here are 10 things you can keep in mind to celebrate in safety.

  1. Give yourself plenty of time to travel. One of the leading causes of car crashes is speeding. If you leave a few minutes early to your destination, it gives you a buffer for any delays. With less pressure, you won’t feel rushed to get there or drive too fast.
  2. Stay hydrated. July is a hot month and spending time outdoors at parades, fairs, and concerts don’t help. Driving dehydrated mimics drunk driving with slower reaction times and fuzzy thinking. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day and night.
  3. Use navigation apps early. Most people know where they are driving for their traditional parties or events, but you should still enter the destination into your phone before you start driving. Parade routes, firework shows, and blocked roads for other events often confuse drivers and lead to using a phone while driving. Entering the address into your phone before you leave will allow directions for an alternate route to happen automatically when you start making turns.
  4. Get Enough Sleep. Experts recommend getting seven hours of sleep every 24-hours. Research shows that missing even one or two hours of sleep can almost double your risk of crashing. With early parade shows and late nights filled with fireworks, people don’t get enough sleep before getting behind the wheel of a car. If you find yourself getting tired, pull off the road and take a nap.
  5. Don’t drink and drive. People love to celebrate the 4th of July with alcohol. Before you drink, make sure you designate a driver to get everyone home safely. Alcohol and driving just don’t mix well.
  6. Check your car for maintenance issues. Many people drive long distances for their celebrations. Before you hit the road, have a trusted mechanic check over your vehicle for any concerns. Getting the maintenance done before you leave ensures you can have a smoother, less stressful drive. It can also save you money by avoiding a pricey tow or emergency car repair in an unfamiliar place.
  7. Don’t drive alone. While friends usually get a bad reputation for distracting the driver, but some insurance companies are quick to point out that they can also help keep you focused. Women are nearly twice as likely to speak up as men to tell the driver to put away cell phones. Having a passenger also helps with finding dropped items, aid in navigation, and keeping the driver awake.
  8. Wear a helmet. Motorcyclists are out the most during good weather, like during the 4th of July. If you are a motorcyclist, make sure you are wearing a helmet and any other safety gear. With so many extra people on the road during the festivities, motorcyclists are the most at risk for serious injury.
  9. Watch out for pedestrians. There are a lot of people walking around during this holiday. Parades, carnivals, fairs, walking to or leaving fireworks shows, and doing fireworks in the streets all add up to a lot of extra pedestrians. Drive slowly and watch out for anyone who might dart out into the road.
  10. Drive cautiously around fireworks. The sudden boom, scream, or crackling of fireworks can surprise a driver and cause swerving if it happens next to the car. They can also leave the driver with a slight hearing loss. Big flashes of light from various fireworks also can cause decreased sight. Make sure that you drive slowly and with caution no matter where you are that night.