The 4th of July is a summer highlight for most people. It’s the perfect excuse for a party, and for many that means tying one on.
Alcohol use spikes on July 3 and 4, and this contributes to accidents and fatalities. Understanding how alcohol use can be dangerous over the holiday may help to save lives this year.
Make Your 4th Safe – Avoid Substance Abuse
Statistics on the Dangers of Alcohol Use
The 4th of July is notoriously dangerous thanks to a combination of boating, extra driving, fireworks and alcohol use. The National Safety Council projects 385 deaths and 41,200 injuries over the holiday weekend. Those numbers include accidents with fireworks, swimming mishaps and car crashes. Most of those deaths and injuries will result from automobile accidents, and many of those will be caused by alcohol use.
A Tradition of Alcohol Use and Accidents
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tracked traffic deaths on July 4 between 2008 and 2012. They discovered that an average of 127 car accident deaths happened each year. That’s more than happen on New Year’s Day.
Drinking and Boating Is Unsafe Too
As more people head out on the water for the holiday, the opportunities for accidents increase. The numbers only get worse when boating and alcohol are mixed.
Does this mean you shouldn’t enjoy your boat on the 4th? Certainly not! Just be sure to designate a skipper who won’t be drinking if you’ll be on the water this year.
Teens Aren’t Immune
Summer is a historically popular time for kids to experiment with marijuana and alcohol use. Statistics from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health suggest that there is a 25 percent increase in teen experiments with alcohol in the months between May and August. There’s also a 40 percent rise in marijuana usage and a 67 percent uptick in first-time cigarette use.
Now is the perfect time to discuss these issues with your teens to ensure they aren’t getting into substance abuse on or after the 4th.