Planning on traveling this Fourth of July weekend? You’re not alone! A record 44.2 million people are planning to travel to celebrate America’s independence and 37.5 million of those people plan to drive to their destination. With more cars on the road this time of year it’s no accident that the July 4th weekend is one of the deadliest each year.
In fact, 36 people in Texas died last year during the July 4th weekend, more than any other holiday weekend except for New Year’s. The record-setting number of fatalities this time of year is a combination of increased drunk driving and a large number of motorcycles on the road. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, alcohol was a factor in 47% of July 4th traffic fatalities. The normal daily average is only 35%. For motorcycle riders, there is an average of 26 deaths on July 4th, compared to the normal daily average of 12.1 the rest of the year.
“With all of the parties and festivities such as Fourth of July, I have seen so many young people die in motor vehicle crashes during the summer months,” says Dr. Brian Aldred, medical director at Five Star ER in Round Rock. “These victims are often recent graduates, new parents, even newly licensed drivers. They had their whole life in front of them only to have it cut short by drunk driving or being killed by a drunk driver.”
Fortunately, it is possible to enjoy Fourth of July festivities without causing an accident! Before you hit the road to celebrate this long holiday weekend, make sure you take steps to avoid an auto accident.
- Designate a sober driver, call a cab or use a ride-share: If you are planning on drinking, make plans for how you will get home. See whether one of your friends or relatives is willing to be the designated driver. If everyone wants a cocktail or two, plan on using a taxi or calling a ride-sharing service.
- Provide alcohol-free refreshments: If you are the host, ensure your designated drivers have something refreshing to enjoy. Mix up some alcohol-free cocktails so they can feel like part of the fun without the negative consequences.
- Plan an overnight celebration: If you and your social group like to party hard, consider an overnight celebration at someone’s home, a hotel, or an Airbnb. That way everyone can enjoy good food, great drinks, a late night, and sleep it all off before heading home the next day.
- Drive carefully: Even if you are sober and ready to drive, others on the road might not be. Never speed on your way home and keep a watchful eye out for swerving or erratic drivers. If someone is one the road who clearly should not be, immediately call the vehicle and its license number into the police. It could save someone’s life.
Road trips and traveling are part of summer fun. But if things end up a little less than fun, we’re here to help. We’ll get you in and out and feeling better fast, because your emergency matters to us! Click to find the Five Star ER location nearest you: http://fivestarer.com/locations
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About Five Star ER
Five Star ER is locally owned and operated by the physicians of Emergency Service Partners, a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for nearly 30 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.
Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes. Find the location nearest you.
This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.