Independence day is a time to celebrate, right? The Fourth of July is a celebration for most in America, but it’s important to point out that it’s one of the deadliest holidays. From fireworks, to overindulgence and reckless driving there are many factors putting you at risk this Fourth of July holiday.

According to WalletHub, 65% of American’s favorite Fourth of July activity is watching fireworks. An estimated 11,000 of those people were sent to the emergency room for treatment of fireworks-related injuries in 2016, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. On average, 7 fireworks-related deaths occur each year. But, fireworks aren’t the only danger lurking around the July 4 holiday.

With Americans hitting a record high for travel this year there’s bound to be a higher risk of auto-related accidents. In fact, 85 percent of Americans traveling plan to drive to their destination, according to WalletHub. Because of the increase in drivers and an increase in alcohol consumption on July 4, the No. 1 drinking holiday, the risk for fatal car accidents could affect anyone.

July 4 is the single most risky day of the year involving fatal car accidents, particularly drunk driving, according to Value Penguin.

Holidays and holiday weekends increase the risk of injury and death. People are excited, ready to get where they are going and celebrate. While this is natural for a holiday, take precautions and preventative measures to protect yourself and those around you from increased risk.

Fourth of July Safety Tips:

  • Fireworks are explosives. Only use fireworks as directed. They are dangerous and play a large role in injuries that occur each Fourth of July season, with 68 percent of fireworks injuries taking place within a month of July4. The CPSC stated that most fireworks-related injuries were associated with misuse or malfunction of fireworks.
  • Keep an eye on children.  Supervise children using fireworks. Yes, fireworks are fun and fascinating to children, but they can cause serious harm. In 2016, emergency departments treated an estimated 900 injuries associated with sparklers, according to CPSC.
  • Consider the environment. If fireworks are a must have for your July 4 celebration, consider ways to minimize the harmful effects they have on the environment. WalletHub states that there is a 42 percent decrease in air quality on July 4 because of fireworks. Attend a firework show near you rather than setting off fireworks at home to reduce pollution.
  • Properly dispose of fireworks. Clean up remains as soon as possible. Wet them down and place in a metal trash can until the next day. This is important in ensuring the fire is completely extinguished.
  • Travel safely. With the added traffic and anticipation, roads can become dangerous. Added vehicles on roads contributes to higher accidents. Always be sure children are in the back seat, safely strapped into seatbelts. Be aware of drivers around you and always have a plan to get home safely.
  • Don’t overindulge. Americans drink more on July fourth than any other holiday. In 2016, beer sales reached over $1 billion on July fourth. Mixing alcohol with many July fourth activities, such as swimming and fireworks, can be very dangerous. Monitor your alcohol intake and never drink and drive.

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