Fourth of July Safety
The Fourth of July is a wonderful, landmark, celebratory holiday, full of festivities and grandeur to ring in another year of being our own strong, independent nation. Also, it is the deadliest holiday in modern American. According to a 2017 Esurance study, “40 percent of all highway deaths between 2007 and 2011 were caused by drunk-driving over the Fourth of July weekend.” That is about 200 traffic deaths over a 4-day span; a 4-day span that is meant to celebrate the sacrifices of those before us so that we could LIVE this free, American life. The irony.
Here are some steps you can take, as well as a couple things to be aware of, to avoid ruining America’s birthday party.
Establish a DD
Every smart, capable, sober person knows this ancient rule:
establish a designated driver in your group.
But while it is so simple, it is very serious. This DD should not drink, should take responsibility for their group’s automobile keys and should not waiver when things get messy. The DD isn’t simply “not drinking.” They are the gateway potentially between life and death.
- From the DD’s standpoint:
Consider the responsibility and potential consequences that come with the decisions you make in the moment.
- From the friend’s standpoint:
Consider heavily the friend you want to put a foot down when you are too drunk to use your own.
While you and your peers may play the day smart, there is no saying what the party down the road’s been doing. Unfortunately, even if you follow the rules, it doesn’t mean you are 100% off the hook. The only way that you can be sure you will not end up in a traffic accident at the hand of a drunk-driver is to avoid the roads all-together. If you are hosting a get together, consider having some air mattresses/couches and blankets available for the crew. If you’re attending someone else’s soiree, offer up supplies for a crash-pad beforehand. If it’s unplanned, in the moment, and you find yourself needing a place to stay, say your peace — your host will understand. If you feel uncomfortable about asking to stay the night, get over it. The awkwardness you feel by asking to stay, the flack you’ll get for being late the next morning, the argument you’ll get in for not being home is temporary; the greater risk at hand is permanent.
The Fourth of July is a fun holiday. It’s tradition to spend the day outside, by the water, grill with your friends and drink alcoholic beverages. Unfortunately, it also seems to be tradition to make irresponsible decisions.
This holiday, be a smart individual. Don’t ruin your life, your friends’ life or somebody’s mom’s, dad’s, sisters’, brothers’ life by not taking the steps to avoid a drunk-driving accident. There is too much at stake. Let’s make America’s hangover a bit better this year, and celebrate the holiday with life.